Lincoln Addressed a Dead Soldierís Mother this way:
(Mrs. Bixby's tremendous losses came to the attention of President Lincoln when he was informed by the State Adjutant General, William Schouler, that she had sent five sons into the Union army and that all five had been killed in action. Lincoln waited until after the upcoming elections and then composed the following letter to her.)
Executive Mansion Washington, Nov. 21, 1864
To Mrs. Bixby, Boston, Mass.
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,
(And please, donít write to tell us what some scholars think of the letter. We are aware of the debate. The letter still reflects Lincolnís spirit.)