Monday, April 16, 2007

A CONFEDERATE FIVE

“I see the president almost every day. We’ve got so we exchange bows, and very cordially too. I see very plainly his dark brown face with its deep cut lines, the eyes always with a latent sadness in the expression. None of the Artists pictures have caught the deep but subtle and indirect expression of this mans face. One of the great Portrait painters of two or three centuries ago is needed.
walt whitman


Five days after Robert E Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia, ending the 4 years of bloodshed in which 620,000 Americans died fighting each other, President Lincoln was assassinated.
The irony of this is horrific considering the “hard nightmare” Lincoln had lived through.
He was the greatest President the country has known.
Just seven weeks earlier in his Inaugural Address, he spoke of the future. The end of the War was in sight. I love the kindness that is embedded in these words:

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Lincoln died at 7:22 A.M. April 15, 1865.
He left, among others, 4 Brothers-in-Law who had all fought for the Confederacy.
In his pockets, there was a pocketknife, several coins, 9 Newspaper clippings.
And a Confederate Five Dollar Bill.




"Before the Civil War, when you spoke of the United States you would say "the United States ARE"...that is the way we saw ourselves, a collection of separate states...after the war, you would say "the United States IS"...
the war made "us " an "is"."
shelby foote, historian

9 comments:

GEWELS said...

Wow- didn't even realize that yesterday was an anniversary - of sorts- of Lincoln's death.

Nice post.

Barbara said...

Can you even imagine a picture of Lincoln smiling or laughing? It was so obvious that he felt a profound sadness for the state of his country. His leadership and statesmanship kept the country from totally disintegrating as a result of those years of war. His was such a senseless death, much like the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by a madman in another country.

steve said...

barbara- This post started out to be very long but for once I did the right thing and chopped it by about 2/3's. in addition to saying he had lived a "nightmare" he said he must be the most tired an in the World.
I think there are some paralells to Moses, who did not make the entire journey into the promised land. maybe you can only do so much and still live.

steve said...

My typing is horrific today. "most tired man in the world."

GEWELS said...

The "m" was understood.

Mother of Invention said...

Steve's the most tired man on the blogs?!!

Lincoln always looked like the Smith Brothers Cough Drops guys.

Annelisa said...

I like Shelby Foote's

"Before the Civil War, when you spoke of the United States you would say "the United States ARE"...that is the way we saw ourselves, a collection of separate states...after the war, you would say "the United States IS"...
the war made "us " an "is"."


A small change from 'are' to 'is', that means a whole new way of thinking of the country. The difference between individuals working seperately and a unison working towards a common goal...

steve said...

Shelby Foote was wonderful...he died two years ago... we lost a great historian...after the landmark Ken Burns documentary on the Civil War, which he played a major role as commentator, he received quite a few proposals of Marriage. He was a very charming Southern Gentleman.

Old Lady said...

Maybe Reconstruction would not have been the debacle it was if he had lived.