This Week in the Civil War - #1063
On Monday, April 3, 1865 Union troops entered Richmond and attempted to restore order in the former Confederate capital. At 8:15 a.m. in the City Hall, Union General Godfrey Weitzel accepted the city’s formal surrender. Union regimental bands played as jubilant Negroes swarmed into the streets, while white Confederates looked in disbelief as blue coated troops occupied their city. “It was too awful to remember, if it were possible to erase, but that can not be,” observed one resident. After meeting with Grant in occupied Petersburg, Lincoln told Admiral Porter “I have been dreaming a horrid dream for four years, and the nightmare is gone. I want to see Richmond.” Regardless of the danger of doing so, the president expressed his desire to visit Richmond on the following day.