April 4, 1864: Lincoln’s Letter to A.G. Hodges

 

One hundred and fifty years ago Lincoln knew that 1864 was likely to be the decisive year of the War, as the people of the North had an opportunity to pass judgment on him at the polls.  With the Democrat party adopting an anti-war position, Lincoln was likely to be defeated unless radical progress in the War could be demonstrated by November.  Additionally he had to justify his policy of abolishing slavery and enlisting black troops, as many pro- Unionists in the North looked with considerable misgivings on both policies.  So on April 4, 1864 Lincoln took up a pen to defend his decision to enlist black troops to a Kentucky Unionist who with the Governor of Kentucky and a former Senator from Kentucky, also Unionists, had protested to Lincoln the enlistment of troops in Kentucky.  The end of the letter foreshadows language Lincoln would use in his Second Inaugural regarding the ending of slavery: (more…)

Published in: on April 4, 2014 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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