Learn more about Lincoln's visits to City Point in the Grant's Headquarters History section.



Abraham Lincoln

A Deadly Premonition

Lincoln was re-elected President in 1864. At the same time, Union military victories began to bring an end of the war. The President was anxious to end the fighting and traveled from Washington to General Ulysses S. Grant's Union Armies headquarters in City Point, Virginia. (This city is now known as Hopewell.) There, Lincoln discussed military strategy with Grant and mapped out a plan to join the nation together again. He wanted to find the best path to peace and to reunite the divided nation. He was generous in his offer of peace. He asked Southerners to lay down their arms and join in a speedy reunion.

Lincoln waited at City Point for news from General Grant that he had taken Petersburg and defeated the Confederate armies led by General Robert E. Lee. During this tense time, Lincoln was aboard the River Queen, a ship docked outside City Point. While on the ship, he had a dream. He dreamt that he was in the White House and walked in on a group of mourners. When he asked a soldier who had died, the soldier replied, "the President."

Within days after the dream, the capture of Petersburg, Virginia was completed. Soon after at Appomattox, Confederate troops under General Lee surrendered to General Grant and the Civil War ended in Virginia. Lee's defeat in Virginia helped to end the Civil War, as President Lincoln had wanted. But Lincoln was not to see this peaceful end, because within weeks of his return from City Point, Virginia to Washington, D.C., his life would end tragically, just as his dream had foretold.

Learn more about Abraham Lincoln:

Life Before the Presidency
Did You Know?
Presidential Accomplishments
A Deadly Premonition
Lincoln's Presidency Ends
Lincoln's Lasting Legacy