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Two Days in Two Capitals: The Contrasts Could Not Be Greater


The Rage of the Neo-Confederates in Jan. 6, 2021;

Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, interview with New York Times published Feb. 26, 2021. Dunn, 37, lives in Prince George’s County, Md., stands 6 foot 7, and has been an officer for 13 years.

“Once the F.B.I. and all these other officers arrived, the Capitol started getting cleared out and more secure. The officers who had been fighting from the start, a lot of us just sat down on the floor. There was trash everywhere. The smoke was thick. I saw one of my buddies who I’ve known basically since I’ve been on the department, and we just looked at each other. And we just started talking about the day and how we were hurting. A war is made up of 100 battles. We were all in the war, but we all had different battles. A lot of us Black officers fought a different battle than everybody else fought. I said to my buddy, “I got called [slur] a couple dozen times today.” I’m looking at him. He’s got blood on him. I’ve got bloody knuckles. We’re hurting. That’s when I said, “Is this America?” and I started crying. Tears are coming down my face. “Is this America?”

Black Officer Gives Account of Capitol Riot – The New York Times (

Lincoln Walks the Streets of Burnt-Out Richmond April 4, 1865

Sgt. John C. Brock, quartermaster in the 43rd USCT, imagined Lincoln “saw with his eagle eye rebellion crushed, the supremacy of the government reestablished.  Slavery blotted from off the statute books of America.” As the president of the United States passed the farmer’s market with a few Union Marines and sailors as escorts,  “a black woman [was] chanting: ‘Thank you, dear Jesus, for this! thank you Jesus!’

Excerpted from Noah Andre Trudeau’s, “Lincoln’s Greatest Journey,” Savas Beatie,  2016; accounts drawn from Brock letter in Christian Recorder, May 6, 1865; and “Carlton’s” account, Boston Journal, April 8, 1865.

Pennsylvania Grand Review » Civil War Letters of John C. Brock (

And also check out: Michael D. Gorman’s  Banner Lecture, based in part on his Virginia Magazine of History and Biography extended piece “A Conqueror or Peacemaker, Abraham Lincoln in Richmond,” vol. 123, no. 1, (2015), 2-88.

Race, Reconstruction, and Memory in Postwar Richmond by Michael D. Gorman on Vimeo

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