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Washington during the Civil War: The Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft, 1861-1865 presents three manuscript volumes, totaling 1,240 digital images, that document daily life in Washington, D. C., through the eyes of Horatio Nelson Taft (1806-1888), an examiner for the U. S. Patent Office. Now located in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress, the diary details events in Washington during the Civil War years including Taft's connection with Abraham Lincoln and his family. Of special interest is Taft's description of Lincoln's assassination,
based on the accounts of his friends and his son, who was one of the attending
physicians at Ford's Theatre the night Lincoln was shot, on April 14, 1865. Transcriptions for all three volumes have been made by Library of Congress staff and are available online along with the digital images.
The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its resources available and useful to Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. The goal of the Library's National Digital Library Program is to offer broad public access to a wide range of historical and cultural documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning.
The Library of Congress presents these documents as part of the record of the past. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these collections, which may contain materials offensive to some readers.
The Washington Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft
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