as a dignified private.
It has pleased some of Mr. Lincoln
's biographers to attribute this re-enlistment to pure patriotism on his part and a conscientious desire to serve his country.
From the standpoint of sentiment that is a comfortable view to take of it; but I have strong reason to believe that Mr. Lincoln
never entertained such serious notions of the campaign.
In fact, I may say that my information comes from the best authority to be had in the matter — the soldier himself.
had no home; he had cut loose from his parents, from the Hankses and the Johnstons; he left behind him no anxious wife and children; and no chair before a warm fireside remained vacant for him. “I was out of work,” he said to me once, “and there being no danger of more fighting, I could do nothing better than enlist again.”
After his discharge from this last and brief period of service, along with the remainder of the Sangamon county
soldiers, he departed from the scenes of recent hostilities for New Salem again.
His soldier days had ended, and he returned now to enter upon a far different career.
However much in later years he may have pretended to ridicule the disasters of the Black Hawk
war, or the part he took in it, yet I believe he was rather proud of it after all. When Congress, along in the fifties, granted him a land warrant he was greatly pleased.
He located it on some land in Iowa
, and declared to me one day that he would die seized of that land, and although the tract never yielded him