Abraham Lincoln eBook

George Haven Putnam
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 191 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln.
about the man whom they hailed as their deliverer, and in their enthusiastic adoration trying to touch so much as the hem of his garment.  The picture is history in showing what actually happened and it is pathetic history in recalling how great were the hopes that came to the coloured people from the success of the North and from the certainty of the end of slavery.  It is sad to recall the many disappointments that during the forty years since the occupation of Richmond have hampered the uplifting of the race.  Lincoln’s hope that some representative of the Confederacy might have remained in Richmond, if only for the purpose of helping to bring to a close as rapidly as possible the waste and burdens of continued war, was not realised.  The members of the Confederate government seem to have been interested only in getting away from Richmond and to have given no thought to the duty they owed to their own people to cooperate with the victors in securing a prompt return of law and order.

On the 9th of April, came the surrender of Lee at Appomattox, four years, less three days, from the date of the firing of the first gun of the War at Charleston.  The muskets turned in by the ragged and starving files of the remnants of Lee’s army represented only a small portion of those which a few days earlier had been holding the entrenchments at Petersburg.  As soon as it became evident that the army was not going to be able to break through the Federal lines and begin a fresh campaign in North Carolina, the men scattered from the retreating columns right and left, in many cases carrying their muskets to their own homes as a memorial fairly earned by plucky and persistent service.  There never was an army that did better fighting or that was better deserving of the recognition, not only of the States in behalf of whose so-called “independence” the War had been waged, but on the part of opponents who were able to realise the character and the effectiveness of the fighting.

The scene in the little farm-house where the two commanders met to arrange the terms of surrender was dramatic in more ways than one.  General Lee had promptly given up his own baggage waggon for use in carrying food for the advance brigade and as he could save but one suit of clothes, he had naturally taken his best.  He was, therefore, notwithstanding the fatigues and the privations of the past week, in full dress uniform.  He was one of the handsomest men of his generation, and his beauty was not only of feature but of expression of character.  Grant, who never gave much thought to his personal appearance, had for days been away from his baggage train, and under the urgency of keeping as near as possible to the front line with reference to the probability of being called to arrange terms for surrender, he had not found the opportunity of securing a proper coat in place of his fatigue blouse.  I believe that even his sword had been mislaid, but he was able to borrow one for the occasion from a

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Abraham Lincoln from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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