John Downing Jr. wrote a letter as he sat beneath the unfinished stump of the Washington Monument on April 26, 1865. In it, he described the soldiers there who were playing a dirge in honor of President Lincoln.

As he wrote, Downing noted that African-Americans who had been slaves months before were passing by with their happy children.

Source: “We Saw Lincoln Shot” by Timothy S. Good

unfinished wash. monumnet