April 23, 1861: "Rev. Mr. McKnight of the Episcopal Church preached a sermon on Sunday upon the duty of the citizen to the government, which gave great satisfaction to his patriotic hearers."
A great "Soldiers' Fair", at which $25,000 was raised for a "Soldiers' Rest," at Springfield was held at the City Hall, Christmas week in 1864 Mrs. James Barnes was the chairman of the committee of ladies appointed to make arrangements for this fair. Associated with her, were Mrs. Adams, Mrs. Gunn, Mrs. Brewer, Mrs. Connor, Mrs. Stebbins, the Misses Clary and many other Christ Church members. The Fair engaged the attention of the entire city during the weeks of preparation, and was a subject of pleasant conversation for weeks following, and in many instances, even to the present day. The culminating event was the auction of an autograph letter from President Lincoln to the ladies of Springfield expressing regret that he was unable to accept their invitation to attend this Fair. It was struck down for $22, to Mr. James D. Brewer, and is still in the possession of the family. A similar letter written by Mrs. Lincoln was received too late, for auction, and became the property of Miss Bella Clary Saxton of Washington, D.C.
In 1865, came the thrilling news of the fall of Richmond and later the great, glad news of Lee's surrender. On both historic days, Springfield witnessed a "hearty spontaneous manifestation of joy." Flags were displayed, bells rung, cannon fired, steam whistles blown, and small boys added to the awful noise with horns, drums and fireworks. The tower of the City Hall was racked with the continued ringing of its bell, the tongue of Old First Church bell was broken. Then came the awful tragedy of Lincoln's assassination. On the days following that unparalleled event, on buildings along the principal streets were seen portraits of Lincoln with the National colors, flowers, and yards of draped black cloth. On the Sunday following, the churches were decorated with the same sad emblems and "the Easter Service of rejoicing was blended with