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The morning of the last day of April, Mr. Wilkeson, the head of the New York Tribune bureau of correspondence in Washington at that period, called upon me with his sister-in-law, Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, well known for her radical views on political and social questions, who wished an introduction to the President. Later in the day, after the accustomed pressure of visitors had subsided, I knocked at the door of the President's study, and asked if I might bring up two or three New York friends. Mr. Lincoln fortunately was alone, and at once accorded the desired permission. Laying aside his papers, as we entered, he turned around in his chair for a leisurely conversation. One of the party took occasion shortly to endorse very decidedly the Amnesty Proclamation, which [102] had been severely censured by many friends of the Administration. This approval appeared to touch Mr. Lincoln deeply. He said, with a great deal of emphasis, and with an expression of countenance I shall never forget, “When a man is sincerely penitent for his misdeeds, and gives satisfactory evidence of the same, he can safely be pardoned, and there is no exception to the rule.”

Soon afterward he mentioned having received a visit the night before from Colonel Moody, “the fighting Methodist parson;” as he was called in Tennessee, who had come on to attend the Philadelphia Conference. “He told me,” said he, “this story of Andy Johnson and General Buel, which interested me intensely. The Colonel happened to be in Nashville the day it was reported that Buel had decided to evacuate the city. The Rebels, strongly reinforced, were said to be within two days march of the capital. Of course, the city was greatly excited. Moody said he went in search of Johnson, at the edge of the evening, and found him at his office, closeted with two gentlemen, who were walking the floor with him, one on each side. As he entered, they retired, leaving him alone with Johnson, who came up to him, manifesting intense feeling, and said, ‘Moody, we are sold out! Buel is a traitor! He is going to evacuate the city, and in forty-eight hours we shall all be in the hands of the Rebels!’ Then he commenced pacing the floor again, twisting his hands, [103] and chafing like a caged tiger, utterly insensible to his friend's entreaties to become calm. Suddenly he turned and said, ‘Moody, can you pray?’ ‘That is my business, sir, as a minister of the Gospel,’ returned the Colonel. ‘Well, Moody, I wish you would pray,’ said Johnson; and instantly both went down upon their knees, at opposite sides of the room. As the prayer waxed fervent, Johnson began to respond in true Methodist style. Presently he crawled over on his hands and knees to Moody's side, and put his arm over him, manifesting the deepest emotion. Closing the prayer with a hearty ‘Amen’ from each, they arose. Johnson took a long breath, and said, with emphasis, ‘Moody, I feel better!’ Shortly afterwards he asked, ‘Will you stand by me?’ ‘Certainly I will,’ was the answer. ‘Well, Moody, I can depend upon you; you are one in a hundred thousand!’ He then commenced pacing the floor again. Suddenly he wheeled, the current of his thought having changed, and said, ‘Oh! Moody, I don't want you to think I have become a religious man because I asked you to pray. I am sorry to say it, but I am not, and have nearer pretended to be, religious. No one knows this better than you; but, Moody, there is one thing about it — I do believe in Almighty God! And I believe also in the Bible, and I say “d — n” me, if Nashville shall be surrendered!’ ” And Nashville was not surrendered.

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