Lincoln & Tad, April 5, 1865: Father and son quality time?

Abraham Lincoln & Tad Statue, Richmond, Virgina. photo from

Abraham Lincoln & Tad Statue, Richmond, Virgina. photo from

On my desk in my study sits a small statue (a replica) of the Lincoln & Tad statue pictured above. The life-size statue is located in Richmond, Virginia and has been the subject of controversy since it’s placement a few years ago. But today as I look at my desk version I’m not thinking about that. I’m looking at the statue and thinking about the father and son relationship Mr. Lincoln and his son Tad must have had.
Lincoln is portrayed in the work of art with his arm around Tad. Tad is looking up lovingly at his father. It is said that Lincoln nicknamed his son “Tad” because his head reminded his father of a tadpole. Tad’s real name was Thomas. After the death of Willie, Lincoln seemed to grow closer to Tad. It’s significant that on the day of Lincoln’s visit to Richmond he took along the 12 year old boy. To me that seemed to be too risky. The war was still on and Richmond¬†had just fallen. The city wasn’t exactly pro-Lincoln territory. The date was April 5, 1865.
As Tad looked into the eyes of his dad he couldn’t have known that just nine days from then he would lose him forever. How ironic that
Lincoln would lose his life in Washington and not Richmond. I don’t suppose Tad, like his mother, was ever the same after the assassination. How could he be? But maybe just for that one day (April 5, 1865), Tad got to spend some qaulity time with his father- even while surrounded by troops and the curious crowds. He hadn’t got to spend much time with him during the war years. I doubt he had any further moments of opportunity after that day.
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