Stirring Days in Kentucky
MARCH 4, 1861, dawned raw and gusty--an anxious, memorable day in the national capital. A President of the United States was to be inaugurated--possibly for the last time under the government established by the Fathers. Despite low mutterings of the approaching storm, streets and public buildings were profusely decorated, and the Stars and Stripes floated bravely from every flagstaff. The military had always borne a conspicuous part in inaugural ceremonies, but today the alertness of infantry and cavalry, with strategically planted batteries of field artillery and sharpshooters on top of the buildings along Pennsylvania Avenue, gave an atmosphere of ominous gravity to the occasion.
By noontime the wooden platform erected at the east portico of the Capitol was surrounded by a motley and mildly curious assemblage. The stand itself was filled with robed justices of the Supreme Court, senators, representatives, attachés of foreign countries, and prominent leaders of the Republican party.