might never have got farther away from obscurity than
does the ordinary member of Congress. Does this
statement limit his greatness, by requiring a rare
condition to give it play? The question is of
no serious consequence, since the condition existed;
and the discussion which calls it forth is also of
no great consequence. For what is gained by trying
to award him a number in a rank-list of heroes?
It is enough to believe that probably Lincoln alone
among historical characters could have done that especial
task which he had to do. It was a task of supreme
difficulty, and like none which any other man ever
had to undertake; and he who was charged with it was
even more distantly unlike any other man in both moral
and mental equipment. We cannot force lines to
be parallel, for our own convenience or curiosity,
when in fact they are not parallel. Let us not
then try to compare and to measure him with others,
and let us not quarrel as to whether he was greater
or less than Washington, as to whether either of them,
set to perform the other’s task, would have
succeeded with it, or, perchance, would have failed.
Not only is the competition itself an ungracious one,
but to make Lincoln a competitor is foolish and useless.
He was the most individual man who ever lived; let
us be content with this fact. Let us take him
simply as Abraham Lincoln, singular and solitary,
as we all see that he was; let us be thankful if we
can make a niche big enough for him among the world’s
heroes, without worrying ourselves about the proportion
which it may bear to other niches; and there let him
remain forever, lonely, as in his strange lifetime,
impressive, mysterious, unmeasured, and unsolved.
 See ante, pp. 237-241 (chapter on Reconstruction).
 Grant, Memoirs, ii. 460.
 Grant, Memoirs, ii. 459. This differs
from the statement of N. and H. x. 216, that “amid
the wildest enthusiasm, the President again reviewed
the victorious regiments of Grant, marching through
Petersburg in pursuit of Lee.” Either picture
is good; perhaps that of the silent, deserted city
is not the less effective.
 Between March 29 and the date of surrender, 19,132
Confederates had been captured, a fate to which it
was shrewdly suspected that many were not averse.
 May 11, 1865.
 Hon. George W. Julian says: “I spent
most of the afternoon in a political caucus, held
for the purpose of considering the necessity for a
new cabinet and a line of policy less conciliatory
than that of Mr. Lincoln; and while everybody was
shocked at his murder, the feeling was nearly universal
that the accession of Johnson to the presidency would
prove a godsend to the country.” Polit.
[**Transcriber’s Note: The index covers
volume I and volume II of the work. For every
term, the individual entries are arranged in order
of appearance in the two volumes. Index entries
are therefore marked with “see vol. i.”,
and “see vol. ii.” accordingly. References
that have no mark refer to the same volume as the
last entry with a mark.]