When the news of General Lee's surrender reached Potsdam, it created an indescribable excitement. The news that came over the telegraph wire on April 9, 1865, was received with joy and jubilation.
"Monday was a verily jubilee-day in Potsdam. The splendid victories of the past 10 days, culminating in the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee and his entire army to Lt. Gen. U. S. Grant and the heroic Army of the Patomac, fired every loyal heart in our community to the blazing point. And throughout the entire day the fires kept burning, burning, burning!"
"But the evening witnessed the grand breaking forth of the gathering enthusiasm. Bonfires and illuminations were in order everywhere. Petroleum and pitch-pine were laid under tribute to patriotism. The citizens were out en masse, unconscious of the rain. The spectacle was thrilling."
"Market and Main streets were lit up by a huge bonfire, kindled at their intersection, whose leaping flames literally conquered the darkness. Nearly all the dwelling-houses of the village were brilliantly illuminated except the few which were appropriately in mourning over the discomfiture of their Southern friends."
"The Home Guards were out in full uniform, with arms bright and powder dry. After two rounds well given in front of the American Hotel, the march through the principal streets of the village began, the Home Guards leading the procession, with drums and fifes, and the citizens in numbers falling into line. Volley after volley and cheer upon cheer marked the progress of the procession."
"Short, stirring, eloquent speeches were made by C. O. Tappen, R. Bicknell, Hon. W. A. Dart, Hon. A. X. Parker, Rev. H. C. Riggs, Hon. H. L. Knowles, and Geo. E. Plumbe, in answer to calls upon them from the audience."
"The immoral doxology 'Praise God from whom all blessings flow etc.' was sung with a will by the vast concourse to the no less immortal tune 'Old One-Hundred' and the crowd went quietly to their homes."