Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Wife and Family, April 20, 1865

In this letter from April 20, 1865, Samuel Reed writes to his wife and family describing the difficulty of traveling by stagecoach and mentions that he heard the news of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Reed notes that their party was the first to inform many people of the President's death. He also describes a memorial service in Omaha, NE.

I arrived here after three days and nights in the stage coach, nearly worn out for want of rest and sleep. The roads are very bad and we made but poor headway after leaving the end of the railroad. At Fort Des Moines I heard of the death of President Lincoln. We draped our coach in mourning and at most of the stations were the first to inform the people of the great assassination that had been committed in Washington. Yesterday services were held here. A procession was formed of the clergy, masons, military and citizens and marched to the state house where religious services according to the Presbyterian doctrine were performed.

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Wife and Family
  • Citation: Nebraska State Historical Society, Samuel Reed Papers (Union Pacific Railroad Collection), MS 3761, Unit 1, Subgroup 14, Series 1, Box 2, Letters to Wife and Family
  • Date: April 20, 1865