During the Black Hawk War, Abraham Lincoln served three enlistments. Each enrollment lasted for approximately 30 days. His first enlistment was as elected captain of a company in the 4th Regiment of Mounted Volunteers, of Gen. Samuel Whiteside's Brigade. Lincoln enrolled on April 21, 1832, and mustered out with his company at Fort Johnson (Ottawa) on May 27, 1832. The company served at Beardstown, and reportedly Lincoln's company helped bury the dead of "Stillman's Run"— although this occurrence is still under investigation. Along with the muster-out of Lincoln’s company was the general muster-out of what became known as the “First Army” of Illinois. While a new army was being raised and organized, Illinois enlisted and mustered in a 20-day interim regiment (the so-called “Second Army”) and the only defense the State of Illinois had until the so-called “Third Army” could be brought into the field. Lincoln re-enlis...
[ Read more » ]
Letter to Mrs. Bixby
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.
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 word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering 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,
Source: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler.
In the fall of 1864, Massachusetts Governor John A. Andrew wrote to President Lincoln asking him to ...
[ Read more »
Fellow Countrymen: At this second appearing to take the oath of the presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement, somewhat in detail, of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it; all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted...
[ Read more »
Washington, December 23, 1862.
It is with deep grief that I learn of the death of your kind and brave Father; and, especially, that it is affecting your young heart beyond what is common in such cases. In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it. I am anxious to afford some alleviation of your present distress. Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You can not now realize that you will ever feel better. Is not this so? And yet it is a mistake. You are sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make you some less miserable now. I have had experience enough to know what I say; and you need only to believe it, to feel better at once. The memory of your dear Father, instead of an agony, will yet be a sad sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer and holier sort than you have known before.
[ Read more »
The Mexican War dominated Lincoln's term in the United States Congress. President James K. Polk renewed the Jacksonian Democrats' drive for additional western lands by turning a simmering border dispute with Mexico into a full-scale conflict. American armies marched to Mexico City and defeated Mexican troops.
Lincoln became one of the Mexican War's leading opponents. His protests failed to bring American armies home, and the American victories produced a huge cession of Mexican lands.
Captain Abraham Lincoln
A. Lincoln - Black Hawk War
The most distinguished alumnus of the Black Hawk War, Captain Abraham Lincoln, is remembered not because of his campaigning, but in spite of it. A reasonably honest man, Lincoln in later years never denied that he had served in the war; but, when he alluded to his campaign at all, he mentioned the slaughter of mosquitoes, not Indians. Yet he had volunteered eagerly. Only hindsight permits us to see that his pursuit of Black Hawk proved to be but the first leg of a public career that eventually ended in the White House.
Abraham Lincoln’s experience in the Black Hawk War was much like that of his fellow militiamen throughout the state. The volunteer soldiers of Illinois left their homes and families to protect against Indian aggression, see the countryside, and earn money. In July 1831, Lincoln was working at New Salem for Denton Offutt, but the business was failing when Black Hawk and his band of Sauk and Fox Indians crosse...
[ Read more »
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate - we cannot consecrate - we cannot hallow - this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far s...
[ Read more »