Abraham Lincoln

“Thank God I have lived to see this. It seems to me that I have been dreaming a horrid nightmare for four years, and now the nightmare is over.”

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln spoke these words after receiving the news of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. He would live only 5 more days. The portrait here shows a decisive middle-aged Commander-in-Chief. To measure the toll the war took on him during the 5 years between his first election and his assassination, you only need to compare the 2 portraits below from 1860 and 1865.
Lincoln in 1860
Lincoln in 1865

The Purpose of the War

“We must believe that our heavenly father permits this war for some wise purpose of his own, mysterious and unknown to us; and though we may not be able to comprehend it, yet we cannot but believe that He who made the world still governs it.”

On His Election

“Well, boys, your troubles are over now, but mine have just begun.”

On General McClellan

“He is an admirable engineer, but he seems to have a special talent for a stationary engine.”

To General Hooker

“I have heard of your saying that the government needed a dictator. Of course it was not for this, but in spite of it, that I have given you command. Only those generals who gain successes can set up dictators. What I now ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship.”

On General Meade at Gettysburg


“General Meade says he has driven the invader from our soil. Will our Generals never get that idea out of their heads? The whole country is our soil.”


On General Grant


“Grant isn’t shrieking for reinforcements all the time. He takes what we can give him and does the best he can with what he’s got.”


To Grant at Petersburg


“Hold on with a bull-dog grip, and chew and choke, as much as possible.”


On the War


“This war is eating my life out.”


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