Abraham Lincoln, Volume II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, Volume II.
a struggle determined in favor of the national life, may have carried him somewhat beyond the limitations set by the hard facts of the case, and by the human nature alike of the excited conquerors and the impenitent conquered.  On the other hand, however, it is dangerous to say that Mr. Lincoln made a mistake in reading the popular feeling or in determining a broad policy.  If he did, he did so for the first time.  Among those suppositions in which posterity is free to indulge, it is possible to fancy that if he, whom all now admit to have been the best friend of the South living in April, 1865, had continued to live longer, he might have alleviated, if he could not altogether have prevented, the writing of some very painful chapters in the history of the United States.

NOTE.—­In writing this chapter, I have run somewhat ahead of the narrative in point of time; but I hope that the desirability of treating the topic connectedly, as a whole, will be obvious to the reader.


[55] These appointments were as follows:  Andrew Johnson, Tennessee, February 23, 1862; Edward Stanley, North Carolina, May 19, 1862; Col.  G.F.  Shepley, Louisiana, June 10, 1862.

[56] So said Andrew Johnson, military governor of Tennessee, March 18, 1862.

[57] In a contest in which emancipation was indirectly at stake, in Maryland, he expressed his wish that “all loyal qualified voters” should have the privilege of voting.

[58] N. and H. ix. 120-122, quoting from the diary of Mr. John Hay.

[59] He had used similar language in a letter to General Canby, December 12, 1864; N. and H. ix. 448; also in his letter to Trumbull concerning the Louisiana senators, January 9, 1865; ibid. 454.  Colonel McClure, on the strength of conversations with Lincoln, says that his single purpose was “the speedy and cordial restoration of the dissevered States.  He cherished no resentment against the South, and every theory of reconstruction that he ever conceived or presented was eminently peaceful and looking solely to reattaching the estranged people to the government.” Lincoln and Men of War-Times, 223.

[60] Sherman, Memoirs, ii. 356.

[61] Grant stigmatizes this as “cruel and harsh treatment ... unnecessarily ... inflicted,” Mem. ii. 534, and as “infamous,” Badeau, Milit.  Hist. of Grant, iii. 636 n.

[62] Sherman, Memoirs, ii. 328.  The admiral says that, if Lincoln had lived, he “would have shouldered all the responsibility” for Sherman’s action, and Secretary Stanton would have “issued no false telegraphic dispatches.”  See also Senator Sherman’s corroborative statement; McClure, Lincoln and Men of War-Times, 219 n.

[63] Sherman, Memoirs, ii. 360.



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Abraham Lincoln, Volume II from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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