Union Troops

… entered Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, on this date in 1865. The Confederate government and army had fled the night before. According to historian James M. McPherson, “Southerners burned more of their own capital than the enemy had burned of Atlanta or Columbia.”

The following day, April 4, President Lincoln, who had been “vacationing” at City Point, Virginia, near the front since March 24, toured Richmond (much of it on foot) with his 12-year-old son Tad (it was Tad’s birthday). At the capitol, Lincoln sat in Jefferson Davis’ chair.

Lincoln returned to Washington on April 9th (the date of Lee’s surrender). He was assassinated just five days later.