Recollections of the Civil War: With the Leaders at Washington and in the Field in the Sixties

By Charles A. Dana | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XX.
THE CLOSING SCENES AT WASHINGTON.

Last interview with Mr. Lincoln -- Why Jacob Thompson escaped -- At the deathbed of the murdered President -- Searching for the assassins -- The letters which Mr. Lincoln had docketed "Assassination" -- At the conspiracy trial -- The Confederate secret cipher -- Jefferson Davis's capture and imprisonment -- A visit to the Confederate President at Fortress Monroe -- The grand review of the Union armies -- The meeting between Stanton and Sherman -- End of Mr. Dana's connection with the War Department.

IT was one of my duties at this time to receive the reports of the officers of the secret service in every part of the country. On the afternoon of the 14th of April -- it was Good Friday -- I got a telegram from the provost marshal in Portland, Me., saying: "I have positive information that Jacob Thompson will pass through Portland to-night, in order to take a steamer for England. What are your orders?"

Jacob Thompson, of Mississippi, had been Secretary of the Interior in President Buchanan's administration. He was a conspicuous secessionist, and for some time had been employed in Canada as a semi-diplomatic agent of the Confederate Government. He had been organizing all sorts of trouble and getting up raids, of which the notorious attack on St. Albans, Vt., was a specimen. I took the telegram and went down and read it to Mr. Stanton. His order was prompt: "Arrest him!" But as I was going out of the door he

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