by, and the participants in the late war drop gradually out of the ranks of men, let us pray that we may never forget their deeds of patriotic valor; but even if the details of that bloody struggle grow dim, as they will with the lapse of time, let us hope that so long as a friend of free man and free labor lives the dust of forgetfulness may never settle on the historic form of Abraham Lincoln
As the war progressed, there was of course much criticism of Mr. Lincoln
's policy, and some of his political rivals lost no opportunity to encourage opposition to his methods.
He bore everything meekly and with sublime patience, but as the discontent appeared to spread he felt called upon to indicate his course.
On more than one occasion he pointed out the blessings of the Emancipation Proclamation
or throttled the clamorer for immediate peace.
In the following letter to James C. Conkling1
of Springfield, Ill.
, in reply to an invitation to attend a mass meeting of Unconditional Union men to be held at his old home, he not only disposed of the advocates of compromise, but he evinced the most admirable skill in dealing with the questions of the day;