Confederate Officer’s Opinion of Lincoln’s Assassination

Colonel Hawkins
Colonel Hawkins

This is an interesting, short article from The Baltimore Sun, printed on April 27th, 1865.

It’s a letter to the newspaper from a Confederate officer, imprisoned at Camp Chase in Ohio after the end of the Civil War.

Office of Agent for C. S. Prisoners, Camp Chase, Ohio, April 18, 1865,–Editors Commercial:–I desire, through your columns, to express my profound abhorrence of the deeds resulting in the death of President Lincoln. I wish also to mention that in passing through the prisons, where are still confined several thousand of my comrades, I heard of no one so fallen from the level of our common humanity as to be in any sense gratified at this atrocious murder. The sentiment on every side was that of indignation at so cowardly an attempt, and of regret at its successful completion.

In the name of right, let the obloquy and the punishment fall in united horror upon the guilty, but not upon men who have had neither part nor lot in heart, since countless sacrifices attest their sincerity; and whose strength, in case of ultimate Federal success, can be merged once more in the common resources far more readily by the Divine policy of brotherly kindness, than by any exercise of bitter and vindictive feeling.

Over the ark of a wise government two seraphs bend–one of these is clear-eyed Justice, and the other is warm-hearted Mercy.

I am, sirs, very respectfully, your obedient servant.

WM. S. HAWKINS. Colonel.

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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