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

Page 437

  “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow” were the words most frequently sung in the street, the Board of Trade and the Stock Exchange. One writer recorded that in the bar-room of Willard’s Hotel, Washington, when the news arrived, an elderly gentleman sprang upon the bar and led the crowd in singing with unwonted fervor the well-known doxology. Twenty thousand men in Wall Street sang it with uncovered heads. On the Tuesday, Trinity Church, New York, was crowded for a special service. The choir chanted the Te Deum and at the bidding of the clergyman the congregation rose and, inspired by the great organ and guided by the choir, sang the noble anthem “Gloria in Excelsis.” These opening words, “Glory be to God on high and on earth peace, good will towards men” had a peculiar significance to the Northern people who during these days of rejoicing were for the most part full of generous feeling for the South. Patriotism expressed itself in the songs “John Brown’s Body,” “My Country, ’tis of Thee,” “Rally Round the Flag,” and the “Star-spangled Banner.” Lowell instinctively put into words what his countrymen had in their hearts: “The news, my dear Charles, is from Heaven. I felt a strange and tender exaltation. I wanted to laugh and I wanted to cry and ended by holding my peace and feeling devoutly thankful. There is something magnificent in having a country to love.” 1  22   The surrender of Johnston to Sherman naturally followed Lee’s surrender. The war was over.  23   Between these two events our country suffered the greatest disaster in its history. Lincoln was assassinated.  24   Walt Whitman sang:
        “O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won.
Note 1. To C. E. Norton, Lowell, I, 344. [back]