“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Richmond, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

President Lincoln Visits Richmond

President Lincoln Visits Richmond Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., January 3, 2008
1. President Lincoln Visits Richmond Marker
Inscription. The Civil War framed the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Within weeks of his election in 1860 as the sixteenth American president, South Carolina seceded from the Union. The primary Confederate army surrendered on April 9, 1865, only days before Lincoln’s assassination.

Lincoln lived long enough to articulate his postwar vision. In his concise and powerful second inaugural address on March 4, 1865, the president delivered this now-famous passage; “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right…let us strive to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds…to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.”

Lincoln’s April 4 and 5, 1865, visit to Richmond, with his son Tad, only a day after the evacuation by the Confederate government, was remarkable for its timing and circumstances. Weary of war and worried about the country’s future, he came on a potentially dangerous mission of reconciliation. Lincoln had only three conditions for the Confederacy: complete end to the war; abolition of slavery; and his words to his subordinates were “Let ‘em up easy.”

During his long walk into Richmond, Lincoln received a boisterous and prolonged welcome from the large population of African-Americans. In contrast, most white residents greeted the president with stony silence. Lincoln’s visit produced, in
President Lincoln Visits Richmond Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., January 3, 2008
2. President Lincoln Visits Richmond Marker
Immediately behind the sculpture of President Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad is a stone wall, with the words "To bind up the nation's wounds."
the words of a prominent modern historian, “the most unforgettable scenes of this unforgettable war.”
Erected by Richmond National Battlefield Park, National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
Location. 37° 32.138′ N, 77° 26.773′ W. Marker is in Richmond, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Tredegar Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 470 Tredegar Street, Richmond VA 23219, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Tredegar in 1951 (a few steps from this marker); Belle Isle and Old Dominion Iron and Nail Works (within shouting distance of this marker); Raceways (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bulldozer Press (within shouting distance of this marker); Francis Turbine (within shouting distance of this marker); Adapting Power (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Industrial Patterns (within shouting distance of this marker); Belle Isle Prison (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Richmond.
More about this marker. On the left of this marker is an artist's rendering of, "President Lincoln entering Richmond."

On the lower right is a map of Richmond in 1865, during the time of Lincoln's visit. Its caption reads, "At Rocketts’ Landing the president stepped ashore
President Abraham Lincoln and His Son Tad image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., January 3, 2008
3. President Abraham Lincoln and His Son Tad
The statue by sculptor David Frech, is lifesized. It was dedicated April 5, 2003, on the 138th anniversary of Lincoln's only visit to Richmond.
without fanfare and unmindful of danger walked to the center of town. Eventually the president visited the White House of the Confederacy and Capital Square and took several carriage rides for more touring of the partially burned-out city. Little of his visit was recorded. The red arrows on the map show some of his possible routes. The yellow area indicates the portion of Richmond that burned just prior to his visit."

Adjacent to this marker is the sculpture titled, "President Abraham Lincoln and His Son Tad." On the bench to Lincoln's left is a newspaper, The Richmond Whig, dated April 5, 1865. Behind the statue is a stone wall, with the words "To bind up the nation's wounds," taken from Lincoln's second inaugural speech. The sculpture was commissioned by the U.S. Historical Society, who donated it to the National Park Service. The sculpture was created by David Frech and is set in front of a granite wall designed by architect Douglas Harnsberger. The sculpture commemorates Lincoln's only visit to the city in April 1865. The sculpture's subject and placement in a park that was the former site of Tredegar Ironworks, where Confederate materials were forged during the Civil War, was controversial.
Regarding President Lincoln Visits Richmond. Abraham Lincoln was a worn and weary fifty-six year old, and his son, Tad, an exhuberant and irrepressible boy, the day that father and son, hand in hand, made history in Richmond.
Civil War Visitor Center image. Click for full size.
December 29, 2007
4. Civil War Visitor Center
Near the marker is the National Park Service's Civil War Visitor Center. When touring Richmond National Battlefield Park sites, the NPS recommends you start your visit here at Tredegar Iron Works.
It was April 4, 1865. It was Tad's 12th birthday.

It was also the day the President of the United States entered the city, which, until 36 hours earlier had served as the capital of the Confederacy-the epicenter of the war against the Union.

Now, the bloody struggle was drawing to a close. Confederate President Jefferson Davis had fled, and the mayor had surrendered the city to Union forces. As one horrified observer recalled, the ruins of Richmond were "still smoking...its devastation complete," set afire by fleeing Confederate soldiers.

Abraham Lincoln was determined to see the grim scene for himself. For more than a week he had been visiting federal military headquarters at nearby City Point, eager to be on hand for the end of the long and bloody Civil War. But not as a conquerer. "They do not know Lincoln," predicted journalist Noah Brooks, "who suppose that he will make a parade of himself at Richmond...or given the character of personal triumph to his entry in the rebel Capital."

And so, on Tuesday morning, April 4, at around 9 a.m., the sixteenth President of the United States, along with Tad, disembarked at Richmond's Rocketts Landing to symbolically reunite his battle-torn country.

"It was the man of the people among the people," marveled an eyewitness. "It was the great deliverer meeting the delivered...such wild indescribable joy I never witnessed. The majority of the thousands who crowded the streets and hindered our advance
President Abraham Lincoln and His Son Tad image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., January 3, 2008
5. President Abraham Lincoln and His Son Tad
The Virginia War Memorial is on the hill behind the sculpture.
were slaves. Now they were free, beholding him who had given them their liberty."

But the president himself would not live long enough to lead the new birth of freedom. Just a few days later, he was assasinated. As Tad bravely told a friend: "Pa is dead, and I am only Tad Lincoln now, little Tad, like other boys. I am not a President's son now."

Description courtesy United States Historical Society brochure from statue unveiling and dedication ceremony.
Also see . . .  Lincoln Statue To Be Put Up In Richmond. An article published in the February/March 2003 issue of Civil War News. (Submitted on January 18, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 
Categories. Notable EventsNotable PersonsWar, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 5,038 times since then and 116 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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