[ James Leaming to his brother Rueben Leaming of the 9th New Jersey Volunteers]
Stationed at Newbern, N.C.
Dated April 17, 1865, Bridgeton, NJ
Reads in part:
Dear Brother, The whole north is draped in mourning. The nation laments the death of the President by the hands of an assassin. The chief magistrate of the nation has fallen. A martyr to liberty tis true. Hundreds of thousands have fallen before him but this seems the unkindest cut of all. In the hour of victory in our nations proudest hour the most beloved man of all is taken from us. It would seem by demons from the heart of a secession hell. Devils are all secessionists and it seems that all secessionists are devils. I said the nation mourned, it does, but there is joy in the copperhead heart. There is men in Bridgeton to whom the news of Saturday was good. I believe them to be as guilty as Jno. Wilkes Booth the murderer of Abraham Lincoln. The good lord forgive me if I am wrong but I firmly believe that we can never have a peace until hundreds of traitors are hung as high as Haman. Lincoln was too lenient – to full of love for man. The almighty has permitted him to be removed. Andrew Johnson is today President of the United States. I hope that his administration may be different, severer. Lincoln would kill the Rebels by kindness, thought he was doing for the best. I am glad he erred on the side of mercy. I hope to hear before this week is out that Johnson has instituted a new regime. Wednesday is appointed for the obsequies of the late President. The day will be observed generally throughout the land. On Saturday business was generally suspended throughout the land. The President was shot Friday night at about half past ten o’clock in Ford Theater in Washington. An attempt was made to murder Seward at the same time and but partially succeeded as he may yet recover. Though his son F.W. Seward was it supposed mortally wounded.
Source: eBay Nov 2008