from The Worcester Spy, April 12, 1865, (Volume 94 # 15), 

The glorious army of the Potomac, gained its crowning triumph yesterday. Through Gen. Grant it received the surrender of Gen. Lee and the entire army of Northern Virginia, or, rather, the surrender of that portion of this army that had not already been captured. It was a great day for the heroic men of the army of the Potomac, who, with such admirable bravery and endurance, have struggled so long with the strongest, best, and most skillfully led army of the confederate traitors.

Lee and his army are completely overthrown and disbanded; and this ends the “confederacy.” The rebel troops under Johnson cannot stand against Sherman, not to speak of Grant and Sherman combined. The nation is saved; and how grand and glorious it will be, henceforth, with this rebellion crushed, slavery dead, the rebel leaders suitably punished, and free principles everywhere supreme!

Glory to God in the highest.



Who has forgotten the strange enthusiasm which took possession of all hearts when the first call for troops startled the country, four years ago, almost to a day? or how the young and strong poured out to the rescue in numbers too great even for the occasion, filled our streets day after day with preparations for the conflict, and leaving multitudes at home torn by conflicting emotions of pride and grief, went away upon a mission the end of which no man dared to dream.

Who will ever forget the scenes of danger and glory through which many of the bravest of them passed to their eternal reward, or the splendid chivalry with which, when the skies were darkest, other heroes thronged to their places to avenge their deaths or to share their fate? Out of their devotion and heroic self sacrifice have come all the triumphs which fill all the country with immeasurable joy; and though they were not permitted to share in the success which today rids upon the crest of the conflict, yet the sacrifice they made is not the less precious, and the example of patriotic devotion they left behind them is not the less to be admired.

Looking at the record of the four years, by the light of these glorious victories, it seems impossible to over estimate the services or the patient valor of the army of the Potomac. It waited long for its time to come; but its waiting has proved its own reward. Placed from the start in the front of the battle, exposed to the utmost danger which an exultant enemy could bring against it, often unfortunate in its commanders, and the victims of whatever errors of policy a too lenient government unaccustomed to war was inclined to adopt, this heroic army for three years endured hardships unparalleled in the annals of war, and endured them without complaint.

It was a fortunate day for that gallant army when Grant, fresh from his glorious western campaigns, was called to its command. And though he was compelled to lead it through that valley of death from the Rappahannock to the James, it has proved to be their highway to victory, and the nation’s highway to peace.

Thanks to its immortal devotion and courage, thanks to the great captain who organized its success, and to the gallant officers who shared in achieving it, the end of its labor has come at last, crowning its career with imperishable honor.

The surrender of Lee’s army is the practical end of the rebellion. That element taken out of the balance the little that is left will soon kick the beam. There is little danger that Johnson, with his vagrant army will desire to prolong the unequal conflict, when he hears that his chief was unable to save the veteran army which he had long commanded and disciplined for its special work. The wandering organizations of rebels, still committing depredations in the gulf states and across the Mississippi, will disappear as soon as the southern people learn that the main armies of the rebellion are no more, and that the interests of the south are especially concerned in scourging these marauders in submission or exile.

The real struggle is over. With the heroism and sacrifices which have made it illustrious forever; with the errors of policy, or judgment, which sometimes beset it with terrible fatality, and the marvelous energy and wisdom which at last …… for them; with the conflicting fortunes which attend its development, lifting the popular heart to heights of enthusiasm, or sinking it to the depths of discouragement and alarm; with all the variations of light and shade, of joy and sorrow, of triumph and disaster, it is passed into history.

Henceforth the best thoughts and best energies of the government are due to the work of rebuilding what the rebellion has destroyed; and of restoring salutory authority and just laws where slavery had nullified both. The outlaw has rights no longer. Its usurpation is a tale that is told. Whoever has been consistently loyal, and has done his best to save the wreck, has claims upon the highest consideration of the government of which it cannot with honor disregard.

If he happened to be weak by reason of long oppression, or because the laws withhold from him the power to assert and maintain his right, it is still more incumbent upon the government to see that power is restored to hi, and that he wants no privilege which it is the pride of a free and just government to guaranty to the humblest of its citizens

Whatever leniency to rebels may be comparable with the full recognition of the rights of the loyal, there is no danger that the government will fail to grant. More than that it cannot concede with safety, and ought not to concede at all.



The inspiring news of the week has been everywhere received with enthusiastic rejoicing. Towns and cities rivaled each other on Monday in the heartiness and exuberance of their delight. The day in Boston was entirely given up to the jubilee, and all public and private business gave way to the universal fervor of patriotic exultation.

The legislature transacted no public business. The supreme court met and adjourned. The merchants met in immense numbers at Franklin Street, and at Winthrop Place, and were addressed by eminent citizens.

The severe storm did not prevent an imposing display of the military and fireman during the day, and a brilliant illumination of the streets at night. The Old South Church was also thrown open, and great crowds were addressed there by clergymen and others. In the house of representatives Mr. Speaker Bulloch made an eloquent speech upon the events now culminating, and was followed by other members. In the senate Mr. Wentworth of Lowell submitted the following resolves, which were unanimously adopted, and will today receive the concurrence of the house:

Resolves expressing the Thanks of Massachusetts to Lieut. Gen. Grant and the Armies of the United States:

Resolved, That the thanks of Massachusetts be presented to Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant for the judgment, fortitude, courage and ability which has distinguished his military career in the service of his country, and particularly for the combination and skill manifested in the recent operations of the army of the Potomac, resulting in the capture of the enemies fortifications around Petersburg, the evacuation of Richmond and the surrender of the army of Northern Virginia.

Resolved, That the thanks of Massachusetts be presented to the army of the Potomac for the patient endurance, irresistible determination, and indomitable courage which has illustrated all its efforts from the commencement of the rebellion to the present time, for the renown which it has shed upon the national arms and the national honor, and for the imperishable glory it has diffused over the land by the final blow which it has given to the cause of the rebellion, and to the army which supported it.

Resolved, That the thanks of Massachusetts be presented to the army and navy wherever employed, who have with patriotic devotion to the constitution and the laws sustained the cause of civil freedom and republican institutions throughout the present struggle, and whose fidelity, constancy and courage, remaining unshaken to the end, and now crowned with triumphant success, will ever be commemorated by a grateful country and receive the applause of the human race.

Resolved, that the people of Massachusetts hail with gratification and delight the prospect of returning peace, and rely with confidence upon the wisdom of General Grant to inaugurate such measures as will unite the whole territory of the republic under a constitution providing for the equality of the states and universal freedom.

Resolved, that his excellency the governor be requested to transmit a copy of these resolutions to the secretary of war, with a desire that a copy of the same be sent to Lieut. Gen. Grant, and to each army and corps commander in the service of the United States, that the same may be read at the head of their respective commands.

The Legislature

The war fever again took possession of the State House, on Friday, and put a check upon all public business. In the house of representatives, while the state aid bill was under consideration, a message was received by Mr. Stone of Waltham from Governor Andrew at New York stating that Sheridan had overtaken Lee and defeated him in a decisive battle, captured Ewell, Kershaw, &c., and several thousand prisoners, and was in a position which would enable him to force Lee and the remnant of his army to surrender. There followed a scene of great enthusiasm, the members rising simultaneously, giving cheers upon cheers, and closing with a summary adjournment. The report of the afternoon session has not been received.

City and County

Rejoicing in Worcester---General Illumination.

The news of the late glorious victory over Gen. Lee, was received in this city yesterday with utmost enthusiasm. The intelligence flew like wildfire through the city, and its announcement was greeted with hearty cheers, which resounded from one locality to another, till it seemed that the whole population had found a tongue of joy and hilarity. As soon as orders could be issued, all the bells in the city were rung for an hour, a hundred guns were fired on the common, and the numerous steam whistles of our manufactories joined in the chorus of rejoicing. The workers in most of the machine shops and manufactories threw aside their tools, and hastened to join the throngs in the streets in the general congratulations.

In the evening the joy of our citizens found vent in a general illumination. Main street was ablaze with light, and not withstanding the rain the streets were crowded with people, as enthusiastic as patriotism could make them, until their cheers for our generals, the army, and the displays at various points were hearty and continuous. We have not space to detail the many buildings which were decorated, but among the many we can only refer to the most prominent.

The Bay State House attracted general attention, with every window of its extensive front blazing with tapers, and the stars and strips hanging from the central windows. Messrs. Jenkins, Hamilton & Co. displayed, in addition to the general illumination of their building, a finely designed “ “Goddess of Liberty,’ of life size, arrayed in the national colors, overshadowed by the good old flag. The store of Barnard, Sumner & Co., was resplendent with a profusion of Chinese lanterns of the national colors in every window. Horace Sheldon also displayed a handsome arrangement of red, white, and blue in his show window. Flaggs' Block was illuminated in nearly every window, and presented a fine appearance. The Adam’s Express Company, John Boyden, Jourden’s coal office and other occupants of Lincoln House Block, made a splendid display. Goodwin’s refreshment rooms in this block were beautifully ornamented with tapers and, interspersed with a profusion of blooming green house plants, and attracted much attention. Messrs. Maynard & Rawson, tobacconists, and the office of Provost Marshall Stone, in the same block, made a splendid show of light. Clafin’s photographic rooms presented the national colors in each window, with very pleasing effect, and the large windows of the office of the American Telegraph Company, and the Peoples’ Insurance office, were also splendidly illuminated. The Spy office and other occupants of Butman Row made a generous display from their windows. The Gas Company on Pearl Street displayed two beautiful stars of gaslight, which were the theme of much commendation. And many other public and private buildings were profusely illuminated.

The north end of Main street was by no means in the dark. Both court houses wee fully lighted. The old Salisbury Mansion in Lincoln Square and the First Unitarian Church ( Rev. Dr. Hill’s) were also illuminated, and large numbers of private residences in every part of the city were radiant with light. At the south end the most notable display was at the large factory of the Bay State Shoe Company, which was brilliantly lighted from basement to attic.

The grandest and most remarkable display was at the Dale General Hospital. The wounded soldiers were jubilant over the downfall of the rebellion, and the most feeble of patients made efforts to assist in the illumination of the building. Over ten thousand lights were displayed, from every point in the executive building, even high up in the turrets, and from the city it had the appearance of a beautiful temple of light. The soldiers did well to rejoice in the glorious victory toward which they have contributed their blood. The College of the Holy Cross was also splendidly illuminated, and from its commanding position made a fine appearance.

The citizens of Quinsigamond and Webster Square joined in the general joy, with a hundred guns at each place, and late in the night the booming canon in the outskirts of the city and in the surrounding towns kept up the enthusiasm of our citizens over this, the grandest and most perfect victory of the war.

RECEPTION OF THE NEWS ON SUNDAY NIGHT A NIGHT OF JUBILEE---The glorious news of the surrender of Lee and the remnant of the rebel army in Virginia was received late Sunday evening, and although the majority of our citizens had retired, they were soon aroused by the pealing of John Boyden’s secesh bell, which never rings except for a certain victory, and in an incredible short space of time a large crowd collected, and as the news spread the crowd increased, till nearly everybody was in the street.

Ten large bonfires were started in Main street, the fire department came out, and a procession was formed, which visited the residences of our principal citizens, who responded to the call with speeches of joy and congratulations. Among others Col. Bullard, Hon Henry Chapin, Rev. Mr. Richardson, Rev. Mr. St.John, Provost Marshal Stone, and City Marshall Pratt, Rev. Mr. Ranyard,, and Hon. John Baldwin, made eloquent speeches.

A hundred guns were fired from the Common, the bells were rung, and many stores and private dwellings were illuminated. The enthusiasm as immense, and the whole city was in a fever of excitement throughout the night. As we go to press the procession is still moving, and listening to speeches from various citizens.


Monday was emphatically a great day in Worcester. The jubilations were continued almost without intermission through the day and evening. Many shops and manufactories did not open at all, and in the afternoon there was a general suspension of business. The operatives of the various shops paraded the streets through the day, and everybody seemed determined to enjoy the holiday and give vent to their joy over the fallen fortune of the confederacy.

During the morning a hundred guns were fired on the common, and at noon another hundred were fired by a detachment of the State Guard. At the same hour two hundred guns were fired at Dale Hospital. Here occurred the only accident of moment during the day. John F. Whipple of the 1st Mass. Heavy Artillery, had his right hand blown off, and suffered amputation of the forearm, but he is reported as doing well. At noon there was also a procession of all the coal carts in the city, filled with the employees of the various yards, proceeded by two marshals on horseback, and bearing the Stars and Stripes.

At half past two the entire fire department paraded through the principal streets, preceded by Goddard and Riedl’s Band. The members of the department , and the several machines were gaily decorated with banners and patriotic emblems, and the procession made a fine appearance. The numerous flags on the route were appropriately saluted, and the Spy office was kindly remembered. The German Turner’s Society also paraded during the afternoon and made an attractive display. The “Frosinn” Singing Society came out with a large Omnibus and sang songs of the “Fatherland.” through the principal streets. We are indebted to them for the compliment paid the Spy office during their progress. 

W. X. Stevens contributed his mite to celebrate the occasion by firing 150 rounds from a single gun of his “Platoon Gun Battery,” at the corner of Main and Maple street. (Note: see article above dated 29 Dec 1862 in the Worcester Spy for a description of this gun.)  

The afternoon was spent by most of our citizens in preparations for the illumination of the evening, and at half past seven the hour appointed, everything was in readiness

The illumination was much more general than the one celebrating the fall of Richmond, and there was hardly a building without some sign of the general rejoicing. The Bay State Shoe Company had their immense factory on Austin street brilliantly illuminated, and Goddard and Riedl’s band were in attendance during the evening. Rev. Mr. Richardson was present, and addressed the operatives and assembled crowd in a speech for about half an hour in his happiest vein. The crowd in the streets was immense, and the steady rain which prevailed seemed not to interfere with the general turn out or the illumination. Several large bonfires were blazing in various parts of the city, and every available material was seized to augment the flames, without the least regard for rights of property.

Main street was a blaze of light, many of the stores and buildings being elegantly decorated. Among the most prominent was the Lincoln House block, every window of which was illuminated. The furniture rooms of J. B. Chollar in this block were decorated with Chinese lanterns and a large transparency bearing the name of Grant. Clarks block was also brilliantly illuminated and made a splendid appearance. Among the principal attractions of the evening were the windows of Jenkins, Hamilton and Co., in one of which stood a fine figure of the Goddess of Liberty, with the national colors suspended over her from the beak of a splendid eagle, with expanded wings, while in he other was a series of tableaux, which attracted a large crowd. J. M. Clark’s City store had in each window a stack of burnished muskets, with a fine arrangement of red, white and blue. In Barnard, Sumner & Co.’s window was seated Gen. Grant, under a splendid pavilion of red white and blue, in full military dress, with his inevitable cigar, and the floor of the tent strewed with military maps. This design was also a great object of attraction.

Upon the portico of the post office was a standing figure of Jeff Davis with his carpet bag in one hand and a demijohn of whiskey under his arm, evidently prepares for a long and perilous journey. In the window of D. H. Eames & Co. was a figure of an “American Citizen” in military dress, which looked as though he had rights which a white man was bound to respect . Putnam Brothers (had?) unique and elegant decorations of their windows, with a temple of Liberty and other patriotic devices. D. H. O’Neil, at the corner of Main and foster streets displayed one of the most elegant arrangements of the national colors. Horace Sheldon , also had a fine display of the same character. City Bank presented a brilliant appearance but was unfortunately the target of several unruly sky rockets, two or more of which made an unceremonious entrance through the windows, by which ………………………….Pearl street, displayed a design of burners, three beautiful stars, a blazing heart, and the word “Victory.” The police office and the city Marshal’s room were also decorated with colors and the names of leading generals of the war. The view from the common was very fine, nearly every residence surrounding it being fully illuminated.

The Court house, Rev Dr. Hill’s church, the old Salisbury mansion, and the block of W. A. Smythe & Bro., were the principal attractions of the north end of the street. the College of the Holy Cross was also splendidly illuminated.. Private dwellings in every part of the city were blazing with light, and from every commanding point the view was perfectly magnificent. During the evening a long procession of employees of Crompton’s loom works paraded the streets, with several elegant transparencies, and were loudly cheered by the immense crowd that thronged the sidewalks. the whole demonstration was of the most harmonious character, and passed off without any unpleasant disturbances. it will long be remembered as one of the most brilliant and successful rejoicings ever participated in by our citizens.

At Webster Square there was a very lively demonstration of rejoicing. The patriotic people in that part of the city had cannon firing in the morning, at noon and at evening. They had a great and very brilliant bonfire, in the evening, which began with a heap of four hundred old barrels. The people also assembled in their hall in the evening, where there were short speeches by Charles Hersey Esq., the chairman, Rev. Mr. Pentecost, and the Hon. J. D. Baldwin. Most of the dwellings were illuminated and there was a crowd of people on the street.


The practical patriotism of the operatives of Stoneville, Auburn, celebrated the fall of Richmond by donating one days wages to the relief of the wounded in the battles just before its capture. Over $60 in cash and a large quantity of bandages for wounds were the result of the effort, and were at once forwarded to the Christian Commission.

Millbury---Monday was a day of rejoicing here, the people being aroused soon after midnight by a former citizen ( Mr.Sibley), now residing in Worcester, who came down expressly to give the welcome news of the surrender of Gen. Lee’s army. The bells at Braminville were soon set to ringing; bonfires were lighted and houses illuminated, and before sunrise a large meeting was gathered at the Town Hall, which was adjourned till ten o’clock A. M., at which hour the hall was found to be to small to accommodate the people, and the meeting was again adjourned to the 2d Congregational church, which was filled. The “old flag” was suspended over the pulpit, and the meeting was called to order by Henry Bancroft Esq.

The exercises that followed consisted of the reading of a passage of scripture---“Oh praise the Lord all ye nations, praise him all ye people.”& c. by Rev. Mr. Brown, prayer of thanksgiving by Rev. Mr. Garrette, and a number of brief addresses, interspersed with music and cheers. Mr. Stowe of Grafton Hill, with his band of musical performers, escorted a large delegation from West Millbury, accompanied by a effigy marked “Jeff Davis” seated on a pine box for a coffin, with a rope around his neck, and drawn by a lean pony with a rope harness. Of course there were the inevitable accompaniments, of bell ringing and firing of “the big gun.”

A contribution of about $60 was taken for the Christian commission. The congregation of the 2d Congregational church contributed $80 to the same object on Sunday.

Holden---The citizens of Holden, upon the news from the seat of the war last Friday evening, gave expression to their joy by the ringing of bells, the firing of cannon, and the illumination of their dwellings. On Sabbath morning Rev. Dr. Paine preached a very interesting sermon from the following words” “Babylon is fallen.” The congregation joined the choir in singing “America,” and responded to the patriotic sentiments of the sermon with a hearty amen.

Jubilation in Leicester---When the news of the capture of Lee’s army was received in Leicester on Friday evening, there was an instantaneous and general demonstration of joy. The bells commenced to ring out the glad tidings to the inhabitants, the cannon sent forth its thunder from the top of the hill, while responses were received from Spencer and Worcester, and the great illumination of the village gave token of the great joy of the people at the glorious news from our victorious army. When the lights of the village had become dim, and the bells had ceased their music, the bell of the old church commenced a solemn death knell, which strangely contrasted with the recent noise and hilarity of the village. A sadness came over the countenance, and the inquiry came up in the mind, if not made audibly, “who has gone,”? but we soon found that the demonstration was for the death of a stubborn child by the name of Cursed Rebellion, who after a wicked and unhappy existence of four years had in mercy been permitted to pass away from its troubled existence. After a silence of one hour the bells continued their former joyful peals long after most of the villagers had retired to rest.

Clinton---Last Friday evening the people of Clinton held a general jubilee over the fall of Richmond, and the subsequent victories of our armies. So much enthusiasm is rarely exhibited as manifested itself on this occasion. All the church bells and all the mill bells united in pealing forth a grand chorus, and the principal buildings on High street and the village generally were illuminated by their occupants. Guns were fired and amid bonfires and juvenile demonstrations with bell and horn, and the vocal rehearsal of “John Brown” and other patriotic airs was fully manifested.

An account of the excitement attending the recent victories, and the press of matter therewith, we have deferred publishing our report of the probate court till next week. 

Milford Items---I can hardly hold my pen long enough to record a few laconic items. The glorious news of “On To Richmond,” Ave Richmond is ours, is vibrating in every heart. Our bells are ringing, and the people are jubilant. Three cheers for our side.

Wm. L. Garrison gave our citizens a lecture of great interest and power, last Sunday evening at the Town Hall. Although there was an admission fee of twenty cents the hall was crowded.. The auction steps and signs, relics of the accursed institution of American slavery, brought by a Massachusetts man, from Charleston, S. C., were on the platform, and from these steps Mr. Garrison commenced his remarks.

We were treated to an autobiography of this faithful, earnest and persevering worker, in the cause of freedom. Verily , already he has his reward in the glory already beaming, and the fast approaching triumph of the work given him to do. The handsome sum of seventy five dollars was realized as profit of the meeting, to be appropriated to the education of the freedmen………..We hail with joy the prosperity of our neighboring city, old Worcester. May all the expectations of future increase be satisfied. There is no reason why your city should not take an advance step, and number fifty thousand or more. The beautiful surrounding country and city blended, with wealth, enterprise and a large variety of mechanical business, are weighty reasons for the future. In the meantime, Milford will spy you from the distance, with courage to believe that we, too, can be dignified with the name of a city of smaller growth. G. W. S.

Templeton---The news of the capture of Richmond by Gen. Grant reached Templeton by the late train on Monday evening, at half past nine when bells were rung, guns were fired, and other demonstrations of joy were manifested and kept up until midnight. The glorious news, so long looked for, spread like wildfire. The Post Office building was illuminated, and the citizens assembled to express their joy at this great event. A meeting was soon organized by the appointment of John W. Work, Esq., as chairman, and Col. George P. Hawkes as secretary. Speeches were made by Col. Henry Smith, and Col. George P. Hawkes, J. P. Cutting, Percival Blodgett, Lieut. C. W. Upham, Leonard Smith and others of Templeton, and George Bowker of Philipston. The people were fired up with joy and exultation at this glorious victory. Cheers were given to Gen. Weitzel and his colored troops, President Lincoln, Gen. U. S. Grant, and the Union cause generally. At 12 o’clock midnight, the meeting adjourning to Tuesday morning at sunrise to raise the Stars and Stripes. G. P. H.

Princeton--- The citizens of Princeton held a levee at Boylston Hall on Tuesday evening the 28th ult., for the benefit of the Christian Commission and Freedmens Aid Society, the net proceed of which amounted to $400.24.

Brookfield---The following town officers were elected in Brookfield , April 3:

Moderator: A. H. Molton; Town Clerk, H. V. Crosby ; Selectmen, A. H. Molton; E. W. Pellet; J. N. Vaughn; J. H. Rogers; Isaac Hammet; Assessors, A. H. Molton; E. K. Pellet; Leonard Warren; Overseers of the Poor, Alonzo Upham; H. L. Mellen; J. S. Sherman; School Committee, A. H. Molton; Treasurer and Collector, Alonzo Upham; Constables, Geo. S. Duell, Alonzo Upham, Geo. W. Oaks. 

The news of the fall of Richmond was received during the meeting, and was cheered heartily; the bells were rung and cannon fired; steam whistles blowed, gongs rattled, and everything else that would make a noise was brought into requisition. Everybody went in for a good time over the glorious news. 

Winchendon---On Tuesday, the 4th inst. an only child, son of Mr. Nathan Bryant of Winchendon , was instantly killed by the bursting of a gun while firing a salute in honor of the late victories. 

Glory Hallelujah ---The propriety of the quiet old town of Lancaster was startled on Monday afternoon, by the prolonged and merry ringing of the church bells, in honor of our glorious victories at Richmond; and in Clinton the event was duly celebrated by various manifestations of rejoicing.

Paxton---The citizens of Paxton celebrated the recent victories by the ringing of bells, the firing of sixty guns, the unfurling of a beautiful new flag, and a public meeting, at which addresses were made by Rev. Wm. Phipps, Wm. Mulligan and Nathaniel Harrington. 


15th Massachusetts VI