A Frontier State at War: Kansas, 1861-1865

By Albert Castel | Go to book overview

XIII
The End of the War

"RICHMOND TAKEN!" "LEE SURRENDERS!" "OUR NATION SAVED!" Thus in large black capital letters Kansas newspapers proclaimed the long-awaited, greatly welcomed news. In Leavenworth the people celebrated with processions, prayers, and pyrotechnics. At Oskaloosa the citizens "got up quite a bonfire and had considerable of a jollification" around a liberty pole. The Olathe Mirror announced that "Humanity, Truth and Right have succeeded, Treason, Anarchy and Ruin have been thwarted." Atchison was bright with illuminations all through the night. The typesetters of the local Champion were so excited that they misprinted the date of the issue telling of Appomattox as "April 11, 165." And in Lawrence, which had more reason than any other town to rejoice, the people hauled out the historic cannon "Old Sacramento" and fired salvo after salvo, while Lane and Robinson appeared on the same platform to address the happy throng.

A week later, black-bordered newspaper columns related the horrifying story of the President's assassination. "Yesterday," wrote Colonel Martin in the April 16 Champion, "was a bright, balmy and beautiful day, but oh! how sad and mournful to the nation." All business houses closed, and the buildings were draped

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