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Chapter 19.

  • Lincoln face to face with the realities of civil war.
  • -- master of the situation. -- the distrust of old politicians. -- how the President viewed the battle of Bull run. -- an interesting reminiscence by Robert L. Wilson. -- Lincoln's plan to suppress the Rebellion. -- dealing with McClellan and Grant. -- efforts to hasten the Emancipation Proclamation -- Lincoln withstands the pressure. -- calling the Cabinet together and reading the decree. -- the letter to the Unconditional-Union men. -- the campaign of 1864. -- Lincoln and Andrew Johnson nominated and elected. -- the sensational report of Judge advocate General halt. -- interesting statements by David Davis and Joseph E. McDonald. -- how the President retained Indiana in the column of Republican States. -- the letter to General Sherman. -- the result of the election. -- the second inauguration. -- the address. -- military movements. -- the surrender at Appomattox. -- Lincoln visits the army in Virginia. -- entering Richmond. -- the end of the war and the dawn of peace. -- stricken down by the assassin, John Wilkes Booth. -- details of the cruel deed. -- the President's death. -- the funeral at the White House. -- conveying the remains of the dead chieftain to Springfield. -- the tribute of Henry Ward Beecher. -- the funeral at Springfield. -- the capture and death of Booth. -- the arrest, trial, and execution of his fellow conspirators.


The outlines of Mr. Lincoln's Presidential career are alone sufficient to fill a volume, and his history after he had been sworn into office by Chief Justice Taney is so much a history of the entire country, and has been so admirably and thoroughly told by others, that I apprehend I can omit many of the details and still not impair the portrait I have been endeavoring to draw in the mind of the reader. The rapid shifting of scenes in the drama of secession, the disclosure of rebellious plots and conspiracies, the threats of Southern orators and newspapers, all culminating in the attack on Fort Sumter, brought the newly installed President face to face with the stern and grave realities of a civil war.1 Mr. Lincoln's military knowledge had been acquired in the famous campaign against the Indian Chief Black Hawk on the frontier in 1832, the thrilling details

1Lincoln then told me of his last interview with Douglas. ‘One day Douglas came rushing in,’ he related, ‘and said he had just got a telegraph despatch from some friends in Illinois urging him to come out and help set things right in Egypt, and that he would go, or stay in Washington, Just where I thought he could do the most good. I told him to do as he chose, but that he could probably do best in Illinois. Upon that he shook hands with me and hurried away to catch the next train. I never saw him again.’ ” --Henry C. Whitney, Ms. letter, November 13, 1866.

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