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General Orders, No. 66 (U.S. War Department)

April 16, 1865

On April 16, 1865, the U.S. War Department issued General Orders, No. 66, announcing the death of President Abraham Lincoln.

General Orders, No. 66

War Department, Adjutant General's Office
Washington, April
16, 1865

The following order of the Secretary of War announces to the Armies of the United States the untimely and lamentable death of the illustrious Abraham Lincoln, late President of the United States.


War Department,
Washington City, April 16, 1865

The distressing duty has devolved upon the Secretary of War to announce to the Armies of the United States that at 7.22 o'clock on the morning of Saturday, the 15th of April, 1865, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, died of a mortal wound inflicted upon him by an assassin. The Armies of the United States will share with their fellow-citizens the feelings of grief and horror inspired by this most atrocious murder of their great and beloved President and Commander-in-Chief, and with profound sorrow will mourn his death as a national calamity. The headquarters of every department, post, station, fort, and arsenal will be draped in mourning for thirty days, and appropriate funeral honors will be paid by every army, and in every department, and at every military post, and at the Military Academy at West Point, to the memory of the late illustrious Chief Magistrate of the Nation and Commander-in-Chief of its Armies.

Lieutenant-General Grant will give the necessary instructions for carrying this order into effect.

Secretary of War

On the day after receipt of this order at the headquarters of each military division, department, army, post, station, fort, and arsenal, and at the Military Academy at West Point, the troops and cadets will be paraded at 10 a.m., and the order read to them, after which all labors and operations for the day will cease and be suspended, as far as practicable in a state of war. The national flag will be displayed at half-mast. At dawn of day thirteen, guns will be fired, and afterward, at intervals of thirty minutes, between the rising and setting sun, a single gun, and, at the close of the day, a national salute of thirty-six guns.

The officers of the Armies of the United States will wear the badge of mourning on the left arm and on their swords, and the colors of their commands and regiment will be put in mourning for the period of six months.

By Command of Lieutenant-General Grant:

W.A. Nichols,
Assistant Adjutant General

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