Abraham Lincoln: The War Years 1861-1865 (2). Carl Sandburg. 1925.
Why read it? I never forgot one of Sandburg’s last lines with the assassination of Lincoln: “For Abraham Lincoln it is lights out, good night, farewell—and a long farewell to the good earth and its trees, its enjoyable companions, and the Union of States and the world Family of Man he has loved.” p. 844. After I read those words, after two volumes of the life of
Sample quotes and ideas:
“Wilkes Booth saw and heard hundreds of men of the educated and privileged classes indulging in an almost unrestricted freedom of speech… On the head of this one man,
The New York Herald: “…said directly that newspaper editors shared in the guilt of leading an assassin toward his bloody work…as clear as day that the real origin of this dreadful act is to be found in the fiendish and malignant spirit developed and fostered by the … press, North and South.” p. 869.
Harper’s Weekly: “Directly and indirectly, openly and cunningly, the passions of men were set on fire by ‘the assertion that Mr. Lincoln was responsible for the war, that he had opened all the yawning graves and tumbled the victims in…. Is it surprising that somebody should have believed all this, that somebody should have said, ‘if there is a tyranny it cannot be very criminal to slay the tyrant?’ ” p. 869. ……….
“A tree is best measured when it’s down.” p. 875. ……….
David R. Locke [Petroleum V. Nasby]: “Wilkes Booth did Abraham Lincoln the greatest service man could possibly do for him—he gave him peace.” p. 891.
Comment: The assassination saved Abraham Lincoln from a struggle that was even greater than managing the Civil War, the struggle for a forgiving view of Reconstruction. The forces of vengeance, without