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I. I leave to other and abler pens the proper estimate of Abraham Lincoln as a ruler and statesman, his work and place in history. Favored during the year 1864 with several months of personal intercourse with him, I shall attempt in these pages to write the story of that association; not for any value which the record will have in itself; but for the glimpses it may afford of the person and character of the man,--every detail of whose life is now invested with enduring interest for the American people.
Iii. When Abraham Lincoln, called from the humblest rank in life to preside over the nation during the most momentous period of its history, uttered his Proclamation of Freedom,--shattering forever the chains which bound four millions of human beings in slavery; an act unparalleled for moral grandeur in the history of mankind,--it was evident to all who sought beneath the surface for the cause of the war that the crisis was past,--that so surely as Heaven is on the side of Right and Justice, the North would triumph in the great struggle which had assumed the form of a direct issue between Freedom and Slavery. In common with many others, I had from the beginning of the war believed that the government would not be successful in putting down a rebellion based upon slavery as its avowed corner-stone, without striking a death-blow at the institution itself. As the months went on, and disappointment and disaster succeeded one another, this conviction deepened into certainty. Wh
XI. The following Tuesday I spent with Mr. Lincoln in his study. The morning was devoted to the Judge-Advocate-General, who had a large number of court-martial cases to submit to the President
realized what it was to have power, as on this occasion.
As case after case was presented to Mr. Lincoln, one stroke of his pen confirmed or commuted the sentence of death.
In several instances Jud nement, and was shot dead in the act by the sentinel on guard.
With an expression of relief, Mr. Lincoln rejoined, I ought to be obliged to him for taking his fate into his own hands; he has saved m s to pieces.
When captured, a number of human ears were found upon his person.
Referring to Mr. Lincoln's disposition to pardon or commute the majority of the death sentences, he remarked, The Pres hesitate to call traitors and treason by their right names.
When the clock struck twelve, Mr. Lincoln drew back from the table, and with a stretch of his long arms, remarked, I guess we will go n