Letter to Lydia Bixby (November 21, 1864)

Contributing Editors for this page include Michael Mazzullo

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#71 on the list of 150 Most Teachable Lincoln Documents

 

Annotated Transcript

‘I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.”

On This Date

HD Daily Report, November 21, 1864

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Michael Mazzullo, “Understanding Lincoln” blog post (via Quora), June 27, 2014

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Searchable Text

Executive Mansion,
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.
 
Dear Madam,
—I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.
 
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.
 
I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.
 
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
A. LINCOLN.
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