Best Lincoln Stories Tersely Told
by J. E. Gallaher
Pub. in 1898




We had been talking of the war, and the late Governor Curtin, of Pennsylvania, broke out suddenly and said:

"It was just after the battle of Fredericksburg. I had been down there and came up to Washington by the night boat. I arrived at the foot of Seventh street a little after midnight. Just as I landed a messenger met me, saying that the President wanted to see me at once at the White House. I took a carriage and went directly there. I sent in my card, and word came back that the President had retired, but that he requested me to come up to his bedroom. I found him in bed, and as I entered the room he reached out his hand, shook hands, and said:

"‘Well, Governor; so you have been down to the battle-field:’

"‘Battle-field? Slaughter-pen! It was a terrible slaughter, Mr. Lincoln.’ I was sorry in a moment, that I had said it, for he groaned, and began to wring his hands and took on with terrible agony of spirits. He sat up on the edge of the bed, and moaned and groaned in anguish. He walked the floor of the room, and uttered exclamations of grief, one after another, and I remember his saying over and over again: ‘What has God put me in this place for?’ I tried to comfort him, and could hardly forgive myself for not being more careful and considerate of his feelings."


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