Lincoln's Letter To A Bereaved Mother
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
PRESIDENT LINCOLN, hearing that a mother had given five sons to the Union army, and that all of them had been killed on the battlefield, wrote her the following letter of sympathy :
"EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, Nov. 2I, 1864. " To MRS. BIXBY, BOSTON, MASS.
" 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 word of mine which shall 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, A. LINCOLN."
The autograph original of the above letter is said to be owned by the London Historical Society, and that it is prized by that organization, not alone for its purity of sentiment, but as a bit of the best English composition known.
Where could human heart seem more tender, or faith in the Divine Heart more strong, than in these lines of the martyred President.