From the New York Sun, 4/27/1913, p. 5, c. 7

Captain S. H. Beckwith, Grant’s Shadow, Describes Thrilling Incidents of General’s Historic Operations During the Civil War
This is the last installment of a remarkable story in which the writer describes the thrilling incidents of Generla Grant’s historic operations during the Civil War. Capt. Beckwith is now a resident of Utica, N. Y., and is 74 years old. During the War of the Rebellion he possessed the confidence and respect of Gen. Grant to an unlimited degree, and next to that commander himself he held all the most important secrets of the campaign of the years 1862-1865.
Edited by William Ross Lee,
Chapter XI.

[Beckwith was Grant’s telegrapher and Cipher Operator – MDG]…Mrs. Lincoln was at City Point during the last week of March with little Tad. I saw her frequently and somehow gained the idea that she was not of the same homely mould as was her husband. An incident which, at the time, struck me as rather significant of the fact occurred on the 6th of April, the day after we had returned from Richmond.

On the 1st of April, I believe it was, Mrs. Lincoln had gone to Washington, leaving her son at headquarters. She came back on the 6th, however, on a special boat, with a distinguished party, among whom were Senator Sumner and the Hon. James Harlan. They were on their way to the captured city.

I was in the President’s tent when Harlan entered and invited Lincoln to accompany them. He declined, saying that he had but just returned from there. Then said Harlan:

“I speak now as the messenger from Mrs. Lincoln,” said he firmly, “take this message back from Mr. Lincoln. Tell her that if her boat doesn’t start for Richmond in fifteen minutes, I’ll take the River Queen and go back to Washington.”

Now what did that mean? I inferred from the remarks and the manner in which he spoke, that it was intended as an ultimatum. I really believe that he considered it a mighty inappropriate time to be running sight seeing excursions to the humbled and stricken capital of the Confederacy. At any rate, he evidently thought that his own return to that city so soon after his departure might be construed as a pleasure trip of idle curiosity. His sensitive nature felt for the defeated South and rebelled against any possible demonstration of vainglory.

Mrs. Lincoln doubtless recognized in the alternative reported to her by her messenger the not of decision that meant finality, for soon afterward the little party continued the journey.

One telegram sent by President Lincoln from City Point to Secretary Stanton contains a sentence which in the light of subsequent events seems pregnant with pathos. I have often read the words and imagined the hopeful cheerful spirit in which he wrote them.

Hon. Sec. of War, Washington, D. C.

Yours received. Thanks for your caution; but I have already been to Petersburg, staid with Gen. Grant an hour & a half and returned here. It is certain now that Richmond is in our hands, and I think I will go there to-morrow. I will take care of myself. A. LINCOLN.

“I will take care of myself.” And twelve days later Lincoln was dead.

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