April 4, 1865



Let all Rejoice!  Illumination! Come out with Torches!

The glorious news of the defeat of Lee and the fall of Richmond and Petersburg having been confirmed, at the request of many citizens we suggest a universal illumination and grand torchlight procession to-night.  Let all who love their country, and appreciate the blessings of Liberty, Peace and Union, prepare at once to participate in this demonstration.

Also April 4, 1865


General Lee’s Escape Cut Off.  The War Virtually at an end.

The People rejoicing everywhere.  Mobile Reported in our Possession

New York, April 3. – The Commercial’s special says it is believed in Washington that the war is over, and that an understanding to that effect exists.

The program of Gen. Grant anticipates all possible movements of the enemy.  He did not merely provide for the evacuation of Richmond and Petersburg.  He anticipated this contingency, and Lee will find his retreat cut off at all points.  Grant, Sheridan, Thomas, Sherman and Hancock are all closing around the fragments of the rebel army.  The military organization of the Confederacy will cease to exist during the present week.

Peace through war is the object of the Administration, and it now seems to be within reach….

April 5, 1865

The stability and permanency of our government is now firmly established.  Nothing can shake it.  The most resolute, gigantic and powerful rebellion the world ever saw has failed to effect it materially.  Nay it has only developed its wonderful powers and resources.  The financial condition of our country was never so good as it is now.  It is true we owe a national debt but it isn’t by any means certain that this is a national evil.  What we have gained is a national currency – a uniform currency – founded on the credit of the nation, and permanent as the nation itself.  We have got rid of the irresponsible banks, of the swindling brokers and sharpers.  Our currency will hereafter be alike from Maine to Florida.  This alone is worth to the nation all the property destroyed by the war and the national debt on top of it.  

April 11, 1865

The city was again most enthusiastic over our telegraphic dispatches of yesterday.  Cannon roared, and the people shouted, while here and there and everywhere the national colors flaunted in the air.  It was remarked that the old flag never looked so beautiful before.  It was coming up through much tribulation – every star redeemed, and every fold flowing more gracefully to the wind.  It was triumphant oer all its foes…

Note: Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House, VA on April 9.

Madison Daily Courier

April 11, 1865

The End of the Struggle

When the war will close no one can tell as to the precise day, but from every indication, the last campaign has been made, and our noble armies will soon be mustered out of service.  Such an army the world never saw before, and history records none that has been attended with such a series of successes.  The Lord has certainly been on our side and crowned our cause with victory, as He ever does the cause of right and justice, and to Him we should not be unmindful, in our rejoicing to return thanks.

With the Army of Northern Virginia and their most successful General on parole (and thus their hands tied) the South can make no further resistance….This army was to dissolve the Union, by the withdrawal of the slave states and set up an independent government for themselves, the chief cornerstone of which was to be human slavery ….What hope can they have, or object to gain, in prolonging a struggle that only makes matters worse for themselves?  See what they could have saved by accepting the terms of peace offered two years ago, and refused.  Blind to their own interest, they spurned away all terms of peace offered, and went on in their mad career, until they have lost everything for which they went to war.

Madison Daily Courier

April 12, 1865

Let Us All Rejoice

All over the country it is proposed to have a grand jubilee on the success of our arms in subduing armed treason.  Let the people of this city and vicinity come out en masse and rejoice at the downfall of the slaveholders’ confederacy.  Let us all “wake up” and come forth with glad hearts, for it is “the great jubilee.”  Truly the 14th should be a “Good Friday” indeed.  On that day four years ago the rebels were firing on Sumter.  Let us now rejoice with exceeding great joy at their final failure to establish dissolution of our glorious Union.

Research conducted by the Jefferson County Civil War Round Table.