T. V. Moore to Phineas D. Gurley



T. V. Moore to Phineas D. Gurley


Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
Gurley, Phineas D.
American Civil War (1861-1865)
Southern States


T. V. Moore, a popular Presbyterian minister in Richmond, Virginia, writes to fellow minister Phineas D. Gurley, expressing the shock, sorrow, and consternation in Richmond on the news of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.


Moore, T. V.


T. V. Moore Letter


Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum










Richmond, Virginia


Richmond April 17th 1865.

My dear brother---Your very kind & welcome letter by Dr. Fisher, reached me yesterday. in the midst of the gloom caused by that act of atrocious crime & folly that has thrilled a continent with horror. No words can depict the grief & consternation that this foul murder has produced here. We were beginning to hope for Speedy tranquillity, & Know that in Mr. Lincoln we had a man whose policy wd. certainly secure it, & all classes seemed ready to bow, & many to welcome his authority with joy. We felt that in him we had a wise, true & humane ruler, whom we cd trust. And now in the mysterious providence of God he is Struck down by the hand of the assassin. Oh it is unspeakably sad & fearful, & we can only gaze in silence on this new act of sorrow & mystery that opens up. I believe that at no time for two years past wd. the assassination of Davis have caused

a hundredth part of the grief here that this has done, for he has long been losing the love & confidence of the people which Mr. Lincoln was with unexampled rapidity gaining it. What the effect will be on this awful struggle, God only Knows. Perhaps as a martyr to his principles it may Canonise them & induce the Continuance of his policy, by wh. tranquillity wd. so soon have been restored, perhaps it may be otherwise, & then who can fortell the end. Oh it is a time for good men to pray as they never prayed before. May God have mercy on our poor, distracted country.

I wish very much I cd. see you, & have a long talk with you. Can't you come down & see me? I had the most sanguine hopes of a Speedy Settlement until this sad event happened, & will still Cherish them. Most of the people of Va. I think regarded the war as ended with Lee's surrender, & wanted peace

& were willing to come back on Mr. Lincoln's terms. I hope still that the policy will be such as to Keep up this feeling, & make Va. once more a loyal state. But that is yet to be seen. For myself I am sick & weary of war, secession & tumult, & long for some quiet Spot where I can live & work in peace. Whether I Can remain here is doubtful, as my Congregation is beggared by the fire, & I fear Cannot support me. I will, if permitted, stay as long as I can, & share their struggles. In a few years all will be restored again, but in the interim there must be much suffering. The money I referred to was this. I have been for several years in the habit of doing what I cd. for the U. S. prisoners here, giving & loaning them money, amounting in the aggregate to between 5 & 6000 dollars (Confed.) I took from officers an obligation

to refund, at their Convenience, in different ways. Some few have done it. I loaned some to a [Josh?]. Kloppenburg, 1 Lieut, 4th N. Y. Cavalry, a Dane, who said he was on Sheridan's staff. I told him to refund to you. I know not why he has not, nor do I care much. I did these acts not as Speculation, but as a [illegible] believing that my Master wd repay me, if the prisoners did not, & I dont Expect to lose in the long run, for the Cup of Cold Water has its reward.

Mrs. Rutcliffe has gone to Washn. & will tell you about us all. Judge Scarborough is in Halifax Co. I think. Judge Campell & family here. [Baretor?] I reckon has gone with the govt. D. H. Wood I reckon is in Albemarle with his friends. His family are in Larkville S. C. Pugh was with the army, but had gone home on a visit, & may be there still. Dr. Leyburn goes to Washington to-morrow & I may send this by him. Give my Kindest remembrances to Mrs. Gurley & your daughter if with you. I hope soon to see you here. I live in the same place (Leigh b. 4th & 5th) & if you come come right here, & we will find a place for you, with a hearty welcome. Rev. Dr. [Gurly?] Very truly yours T. V. Moore



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