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Scene at the death bed of President Lincoln. The figures, from left to right: Secretary Welles, Secretary Stanton, physician, Secretary Dennison, Charles Sumner, Surgeon- General Barnes, Robert Lincoln, General Halleck, John Hay, General Meigs and physicians on chairs.
(Harper's Weekly, May 6, 1865.)

Death of Lincoln

Throughout the night Cabinet members, physicians, and distinguished men watched at Lincoln's bedside. All of the Cabinet officers were there, except Seward. At least six doctors were also in the room. Surg. Gen. Joseph K. Barnes and Dr. Robert K. Stone, the family physician, probed the wound and found it to be mortal.

Assisted by Major Rathbone, Miss Harris, and Laura Keene, Mrs. Lincoln followed her husband across to the Petersen House. Major Rathbone fainted from loss of blood and was taken home. Mrs. Lincoln occupied the front parlor and here was secluded from the curious. Going to Lincoln's bedside from time to time, her anguish and grief increased with each view of her dying husband. Sometime before his death, his labored breathing and change of countenance so affected her that she fell in a faint so prolonged that a physician ordered that she not be permitted again to enter the room.

In the back parlor, members of the Cabinet conferred, and here Secretary of War Stanton began his investigation of the assassination and interviewed witnesses of the tragedy. Vice President Andrew Johnson visited the President's bedside during the night but departed before the end.

About 7 o'clock in the morning, April 15, 1865, Dr. Stone announced that death was near, and at 7:22 a. m. the President died. The Reverend Phineas D. Gurley, pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, offered a prayer and Secretary of War Stanton approached the bed and is said to have uttered the enduring words "Now he belongs to the ages."


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