National Archives at Philadelphia

Special Order 93

This document is Special Order No. 93 issued to the Commanding Officer of Camp William Penn on April 20, 1865, five days after the death of President Abraham Lincoln. The Special Order, which directed “All United States Troops in the vicinity of Philadelphia, not required for duty at their respective Posts,” to report to Philadelphia “for the purpose of participating in the funeral obsequies of the late President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, on the arrival of his remains in this city.”  Two days following the order’s issue, troops from the Philadelphia area provided a military escort to President Lincoln’s funeral procession as it passed through the city. This document provides an example of how regional records can sometimes reflect and tie into the larger national story. 

Our records of the Civil War era Provost Marshal General’s Bureau include numerous records documenting the activities at Camp William Penn. Located in Cheltenham Township, PA, Camp William Penn was the largest federal training facility for African American troops during the Civil War. Between June 1863 and August 1865, 11 regiments of the U.S. Colored Troops (over 10,000 soldiers) were trained at the camp. Our holdings from the camp are significant as a source of biographical information about individual African Americans. In addition to a person's name, the rolls, registers, and descriptive lists in the records might record a person’s age, birthplace, marital status, occupation, or other details of potential interest.

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Special Order No. 93 issued to the Commanding Officer of Camp William Penn, dated April 20, 1865. National Archives Identifier: 284323624

View and download Special Order 93 on the National Archives Catalog. You can explore more records held in the National Archives at Philadelphia through the National Archives Catalog or by visiting the National Archives at Philadelphia. This record is located in Record Group 110: Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Office (Civil War), Series: Special Orders of the War Department and Army Commands.