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[167] soldiers to assist in protecting their families and their property. And here it will do no harm to state that, notwithstanding the heavy drain made by the Confederacy, Missouri, during the war, furnished Io9,000 men to the national army.

After their formal address had been presented to the President, the members of the delegation tackled him, one after the other, as the spirit moved them, and — it can truthfully be said that in some of the bouts that ensued he did not come out “first best.” He admitted as much when, afterwards referring to this meeting, he spoke of the Missouri Radicals as “the unhandiest fellows in the world to deal with in a discussion.”

The conclusion of the interview was attended with an unexpected incident. The recognized leading spokesman of the Missourians was the Hon. Charles D. Drake, of St. Louis, who was made Chief Justice of the Court of Claims at Washington by Grant, when he became President. He was a very forcible speaker. As Mr. Lincoln indicated by rising from his seat that the conference was at an end, Mr. Drake stepped forward and in well-chosen words thanked him for the lengthy and courteous hearing he had given his visitors, and in their names bade him good-by. Then he started for the door, but something seemed to arrest him. Turning sharply to Mr. Lincoln, he said: “Mr. President, we are about to return to our homes. Many of these men before you live where rebel sentiments prevail and where they are surrounded by deadly enemies. They return at the risk of their lives, and let me tell you that if any of their lives are sacrificed by reason of ”

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