Thursday, March 4, 2010

Old Soldier Retires

I recently wrote about an old Civil War statue that was being retired in Muscantine, Iowa. The statue was taken down on Monday, and sadly, the legs and musket of the old soldier crumbled. Lee Miller, a local historian, was glad to see that the rest of the statue stayed intact. The marble statue will be kept in storage, and a new statue will take the place of the old one, along with updated plaques listing soldiers who were omitted before.

On this date in 1861 and in 1865, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated. Before the first ceremony took place, Lincoln was sneaked into Washington for his own protection, but strangely enough, attended the inauguration in an open horse-drawn carriage. At the second inauguration, heavy rains made the roads so muddy that traffic was nearly at a standstill. Sadly, the president would be assassinated only a month later. At the second inaugural, it is said that the crowd had a difficult time understanding Vice President Johnson's speech. This is because he was taking whiskey prescribed by a physician for an ailment. He reportedly drank so much that his speech was rambling and incoherent! One of the spectators in the crowd was none other than John Wilkes Booth, who would later become Lincoln's assassin.