Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lincoln in Fredericksburg - May 23, 1862

Abraham Lincoln visited Fredericksburg, Virginia on May 23, 1862. The following account was published in the "Christian Banner" newspaper on May 27, 1862 and is taken from page 344 of the memoirs of James Hunnicutt, publisher of said newspaper, a northern sympathizer later run out of town.

"President Lincoln and Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, visited Fredericksburg on last Friday, the 23d instant (May). They rode in a carriage drawn by four fine iron-gray horses. They crossed the Rappahannock River on the canal-boat bridge, and passed up Princess Anne Street to the Farmer's Bank, the head-quarters of General Patrick, where the carriage stopped about five minutes, and then moved off, as we were informed, to visit some camp of soldiers out of the town. A large escort accompanied the distinguished visitors. There were no demonstrations of joy, however, from any of the citizens. If they were met by the Honorable Mayor and Common Council, we have not learned the fact."

Betty Herndon Maury wrote: "Abraham Lincoln was in town on Friday [May 23, 1862]. Our Mayor did not call on him, and I did not hear a cheer as he passed along the streets. The streets are full of wagons and soldiers. "

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Here is another report of Lincoln's May 1862 visit to Fredericksburg, this one from John Goolrick's Historic Fredericksburg: The Story of an Old Town:

". . . President Lincoln came to stay at Chatham and hold a grand review of the army of the Potomac. He was accompanied by Wm. H. Seward, Secretary of State and Edward Stanton, Secretary of War. On the plateau behind Chatham there was held a great artillery review. On the following day the President accompanied by some of his cabinet officers and the staff officers of the army, crossed the river on the lower pontoon bridge. They rode immediately to the provost marshal's headquarters in the building on the corner of Princess Anne and George Streets, which the National Bank now occupies. After taking lunch with General Patrick and in response to the calls of some troops present, President Lincoln from the front steps made a short but splendid address. The writer of this, sat on the steps of the St. George's Church, on the opposite side of the street and heard President Lincoln's speech."