Manuscripts/Mixed Material The Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft, 1861-1865. Volume 1, January 1,1861-April 11, 1862
February 20, 1862
Thursday Feb 20th 1862
This has been a bright pleasant day, quite a rarity for a month past. There is no particular news in the papers. I have been down onto the Ave this evening. Called upon Mr Daws M.C. who is sick at his rooms co[rne]r of 8th & Ave, bought some maps and two Flags in view of the Celebration of the 22nd. I must make arrangements tomorrow to illuminate on Saturday night. We hear tonight with much sorrow that our little friend Willie Lincoln died at 5 p.m. He had been sick for near three weeks with Typhoid fever. “Bud” has been to see him or to enquire about him almost every day. He and his Mother were there yesterday about noon. Willie was then thought to be better. He was an amiable good hearted boy, was here with our boys almost every day or our boys were there. We all got much attached to him & “Tad” his Brother. He had more judgment and foresight than any boy of his age that I have ever known, poor Willie we all lament.
February 21, 1862
It has been pleasant today, it was frozen up this morning. I have been in the office as usual. Willie Taft spent part of the day with me at the office while his Ma & the other boys went to the Presidents. The illumination will not take place tomorrow night in consequence of the Presidents affliction. The news from Tennessee is favorable for our cause, Nashville is probably in our possession. I have not been out tonight. Julia interested us for an hour reciting poetry from different authors. She quite surprised me with the accuracy of her reading (or rendering) Schillers Battle piece, E A Poes “Bells” &c. She recited whole pages from memory. “Bengen on the Rhine” was finely done, also “our Flag.” Near 11 o'clock. Julia and the boys were abed long ago. I have been Drafting some. Wife is frying doughnuts in the Kitchen.