James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

Page 436

  to say more.” 1 On the morrow he issued a farewell address to the Army of Northern Virginia and rode away to Richmond. The army disbanded and dispersed to their homes. 2  21   The news of Lee’s surrender was received in Washington at nine o’clock on Sunday evening, April 9, and at a somewhat later hour in other cities. While the people had exulted at the occupation of Richmond, they perceived that the possession of the capital of the Confederacy did not imply the end of the war. But now it was in everybody’s mouth, “the great captain of the rebellion had surrendered”: this imported that slavery was dead, the Union restored and that the nation lived. So pregnant an event ought to be made known speedily to Europe; accordingly the Inman line despatched a special steamer on the Monday to carry the intelligence across the ocean. The people of the North rejoiced on the night of the 9th and during the day and evening of the 10th as they had never rejoiced before, nor did they on any occasion during the remainder of the century show such an exuberance of gladness. Business was suspended and the courts adjourned. Cannons fired, bells rang, flags floated, houses and shops were gay with the red, white and blue. There were illuminations and bonfires. The streets of the cities and towns were filled with men who shook hands warmly, embraced each other, shouted, laughed and cheered and were indeed beside themselves in their great joy. There were pledges in generous wine and much common drinking in bar-rooms and liquor shops. There were fantastic processions, grotesque performances and some tomfoolery. Grave and old gentlemen forgot their age and dignity and played the pranks of school-boys. But always above these foolish and bibulous excesses sounded the patriotic and religious note of the jubilee.
Note 1. Life of Lee, Cooke, 463. [back]
Note 2. See V, passim. [back]