Abraham Lincoln to Albert G. Hodges, April 4, 1864, in Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1953) Volume VII, p. 281-82. Hereafter cited as CW.
 Speech at Peoria, Illinois, Oct. 16, 1864 CW II, p. 255. Countless works treat Lincoln’s attitudes toward slavery. A good starting point, because it surveys the existing literature, is George Frederickson, Big Enough to Be Inconsistent: Abraham Lincoln Confronts Slavery And Race (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008).
 For one of many iterations of this point, see Lincoln’s rejoinder to Stephen Douglas in the Fourth Joint Debate at Charleston, Illinois, Sept. 18, 1858 in Robert W. Johannsen, ed., The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1965), 197.
 First Joint Debate, Ottawa, Aug. 21, 1858 in Johannsen, ed., The Lincoln-Douglas Debates , 51-52; Address on Colonization to a Deputation of Negroes, August 14, 1862 in CW V, 372.
 Abraham Lincoln, “Message to Congress in Special Session,” July 4, 1861, CW IV, 426, 438.
 Pvt. W.D. Wildman, 12 IN, to teacher, Miss Susan Griggs, Nov. 2, 1861, near Sharpsburg, MD, Virginia Southwood Collection, Western Historical Manuscript Collection, University of Missouri, Columbia. See also “The Results of this War,” The American Union July 5, 1861, Martinsburg, VA, (American Antiquarian Society) in which soldiers stationed in Martinsburg, Virginia in July 1861 explained that the Union must be preserved in order to certify the success of “the experiment of our popular government.”
 Cpl. George Cadman, 39 OH, to wife, March 6, 1864, Athens, AL, George Hovey Cadman Letters, Tennessee State Library and Archives. There are countless more of these examples. To take just a couple: “Where are the oppressed and down-trodden millions of the earth to look for hope” if the Union’s “experiment of self-government by the people shall fail?” (Pvt. Charles Henthorn, 77 IL, to sister, March 7, 1864, recuperating in hospital in Quincy, IL, Charles Henthorn Letters, Schoff Civil War Collection, Clements Library, University of Michigan); “If we fail now, the hope of human rights is extinguished for ages,” (Pvt. Leigh Webber, 1 KS, to friends, the Brown family in Kansas, April 24, 1862, Tipton MO, John S. Brown Family Papers, Reel 2, Kansas State Historical Society); “Destroy this Union and what can republics hope for?”(The Illinois Fifty-Second 1:1, Jan. 15, 1862, Stewartsville, MO, p. 3, Illinois State Historical Library).
 Anglo-African, May 11, 1861, p. 1.
 The Wisconsin Volunteer, Feb. 6, 1862, Leavenworth, KS, p. 3, Kansas State Historical Society. Newspaper of the 13th WI.
 “Enlisted soldier” 3 WI, to State Journal, Oct. 1861, near Harper’s Ferry, VA, Quiner Papers, Reel 1, Vol. 1, p. 176, State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Similarly identifying slavery as “the cause of all our animosities, and wranglings and this acursed rebellion,” a Vermonter in the ranks hoped, “the dark stigma upon our nation may be wiped out.” Pvt. Jerome Cutler, 2 VT, to fiancee Emily, Nov. 11, 1861, Camp Griffin, Fairfax Co., VA, Jerome Cutler Letters, Vermont Historical Society. Missouri Union soldier John Boucher agreed: because “it was slavery that caused the war,” he insisted, only “the eternal overthrow of slavery” could win the war (See Sgt. John Boucher, 10 MO, to wife, Dec. 7, 1861, Camp Holmes, MO, Boucher Family Papers, Civil War Miscellany Collection 2nd Ser., United States Army Military History Institute.)
 Lt. Charles Haydon, 2 Mich, journal, March 24, 1862, near Fortress Monroe, in Stephen W. Sears, ed. For Country Cause and Leader: The Civil War Journal of Charles B. Haydon (NY: Ticknor & Fields, 1993), 212.
 Pvt. “M” 1 WI, to the Times, March 23, 1862, Nashville, TN, E.B. Quiner Correspondence of Wisconsin Volunteers, Reel 1, Volume 2, p. 151, State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
 Pvt. Adelbert Bly, 32 WI, to Anna, Nov. 9, 1862, Memphis, TN, Adelbert M. Bly Correspondence, State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
 Address on Colonization to a Deputation of Negroes, August 14, 1862 in CW V, 372.
 The influence of this “Group One” should be neither ignored nor overstated. Lincoln was fairly accomplished at ignoring radical abolitionists and I know of no evidence that he read black newspapers such as the Anglo-African and the Christian Recorder, which kept up the drumbeat. Yet James Oakes has convincingly shown that the influence of prominent African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass on Lincoln grew over the course of Lincoln’s presidency, and certainly by the summer of 1864, Douglass had made a strong enough impression that Lincoln, when worried about losing the upcoming presidential election, specifically asked Douglass for help in getting as many slaves as possible into Union lines before a new Administration likely to oppose and even reverse emancipation took office. See James Oakes, The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics (New York: Norton, 2007) and Frederick Douglass to Abraham Lincoln, August 29, 1864, in which Douglass spelled out the plan he generated in response to Lincoln’s “suggestion that something should be speedily done to inform Slaves in the Rebel States of the true state of affairs in relation to them, and to warn them as to what will be their probable condition should peace be concluded while they remain within the Rebel lines: and more especially to urge upon them the necessity of making their escape.” Douglass to Lincoln letter reprinted in Harold Holzer, editor and compiler, Dear Mr. Lincoln: Letters to the President (New York: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1993), 268-70.
 For the Washington, D.C. contraband camp, see RG 92, the Consolidated Correspondence File of the Records of the Quartermaster, NARA. For the map of Lincoln’s routes between the Soldiers’ Home Cottage and the White House, see Matthew Pinsker, Lincoln’s Sanctuary: Abraham Lincoln and the Soldiers’ Home (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003) Map 1, p. 6. For Mary Dines, see Pinsker, pp. 16, 66-68,
 Mary Lincoln to “My Dear Husband,” New York, Nov. 3, 1862, in Holzer, Dear Mr. Lincoln, 313.
 Chaplain Joseph Twichell, 71 NY, to father, July 9, 1862, Harrison’s Landing, VA, reprinted in Twichell, “Army Memories of Lincoln,” Congregationalist and Christian World, Jan. 30, 1913, 154.
 Lt. P.V. Wise, 1 WI, to WI. State Journal, Jan. 20, 1862, Camp Wood, KY, E.B. Quiner Correspondence of Wisconsin Volunteers, Reel 1, Volume 2, p. 139-140, State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
 General George McClellan to President Abraham Lincoln, July 1862, Harrison’s Landing, VA, in Stephen Sears (ed.), The Civil War Papers of George B. McClellan (New York: Ticknor and Fields, 1989), 344-46.
 The men in his command loved their General, but on this point, more of them diverged from Little Mac than Lincoln could have imagined had he not made the trip. There were, in fact, already limits to Army of the Potomac soldiers’ devotion to McClellan: Sergeant Felix Brannigan claimed that the General’s “popularity among the soldiers . . . will never measure the 1/100th part of Honest Old Abe’s.” Sgt. Felix Brannigan, 5 NY, to sister, July 16, 1862, Camp Harrison Landing, VA, Felix Brannigan Papers, People At War microfilm version of Library of Congress Collections, Collection 22, Reel 4.
 Sgt. Luther Furst, Signal Corps, 39 PA, Diary, May 11, 1862, York river, VA, Luther Furst Diary, Harrisburg Civil War Round Table Collection. USAMHI, Carlisle Barracks; QM Sgt. Thomas Low, 23 Independent NY Artillery, March 29, 1862, Washington, D.C., Special Collections, Duke University.
 Lincoln to Greeley, Aug. 22, 1862, CW V. p. 388-89.
 “Reply to Emancipation Memorial Presented by Chicago Christians of All Denominations,” September 13, 1862, in CW V, pp. 419-24. quotations from 420 and 421.
 Reply to Serenade in Honor of Emancipation Proclamation, September 24, 1862, CW V, p. 438.
 Corporal Hervey Howe, 89 NY, to brother Judson, Oct. 2, 1862, near Antietam Creek, MD, Hervey Lane Howe Letters, Bird Library, Syracuse University. It is even easier to find approval and enthusiasm for the Proclamation in other theaters of war, since men who had not just fought in the Battle of Antietam had more leisure to write about the Emancipation Proclamation. See (among many others, “President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation received: delivered on the 24th of last month. Thank God, the word has at last been spoken. Light begins to break through. Let the sons of earth rejoice. Sing paeans to Liberty. Let tyranny die,” (Cpl. Rufus Kinsley, 8 VT, in diary, Oct. 3, 1862, New Orleans, LA, Rufus Kinsley Diary, Part I. Vermont Historical Society); “my oppion of lincolns proclamation is that it is the only means by wich the Traitors can bee maid feal their injustis that they have been guilty of disloyality and treason. . . The army as far as I know likes his (lincolns) proclamation very well and think that the plan will work so well that wee that are a live yet will be at Home against June next,” ( Pvt. Jacob Behm, 48 IL, to sister and brother-in-law, Oct. 1, 1862, Bethel, TN, Jacob Behm Correspondence, Civil War Times Illustrated Collection, USAMHI, Carlisle Barracks); and “My hopes are somewhat revived since Old Abe has come out with his proclamation, I do now believe the war will be over in six months and the government restablished on truly republican principals the curse of slavery has got to go by the board and no mistake. . . . emancipation is becoming popular through out the whole Union evry boddy knows that slavery was the cause of this war and slavery stands in the way of putting down this rebelion and now let us put it out of the way,” (Sgt. John Boucher, 10 MO, to mother, Sept. 29, 1862 Benton Barracks, MO, Boucher Family Papers. Civil War Miscellaneous Collection, 2nd Ser., USAMHI, Carlisle Barracks). It is notable that after that trip to see soldiers in the field, Lincoln got discernibly tougher in his communications to and about McClellan. Compare the gentle, cajoling tone of Lincoln’s telegrams to McClellan on Aug. 29, 1862 (CW V, p. 399), Sept. 6, 1862 (CW V, p. 407), and Sept. 15, 1862 (CW V, p. 426) with the much harsher tone of Lincoln’s Oct. 13, 1862 letter to McClellan (CW V, 460-61).
 Lt. JQA Campbell, 5 IA, in diary, Sept. 25, 1862, Iuka Miss, in Mark Grimsley and Todd D. Miller (eds.), The Union Must Stand: The Civil War Diary of John Quincy Adams Campbell, Fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry (Knoxville: University of TN Press, 2000), 61. See also Lt. Joseph Trego, 3 KS Cav, to wife, Sept. 30, 1862, Helena, Ark., (Trego Collection Kansas State Historical Society): “We are rejoiced to learn that Abraham has, at last begun at the bottom of the difficulty to solve it.”
 Pvt. Levi Hines, 11 VT to parents, Sept. 26,1 862 Ft. Lincoln, Washington, DC, Levi Hines Papers, Schoff Civil War Collection, Clements Library, University of Michigan.
 Lincoln to George Robertson, Nov. 26, 1862, CW V 512. For whole affair, see pp. 502-503 and 512-514
 Abraham Lincoln, Annual Message to Congress Dec. 1, 1862, in Basler, CW V, 537.
 Cpl. N. Newton Glazier, 11 VT (aka 1 VT Heavy Art) to folks at home, Feb. 8, 1863, Fort Slocum, D.C., Nelson Newton Glazier Letters, Vermont Historical Society.
 Pvt. Leigh Webber, 1 KS, to Brown Family, July 24, 1862, Gibson Co., TN, John S. Brown Letters, Reel 2, Kansas State Historical Society.
 I would especially like to thank the students who took History 480, “Lincoln” in the fall of 2008, and Frank Milligan of the Lincoln Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home who invited me to speak in the fall of 2008. About halfway through that semester of unfailingly lively discussion, we noticed that the theme of loss seemed to be entering our discussions of Lincoln with notable frequency. It was already clear to me that loss was a central aspect of soldiers’ experiences of the war, but I am certain that those discussions, coupled with my visit to the Lincoln Cottage at the same time, helped heighten my own attention to the specific ways in which loss surrounded Lincoln throughout the war.
 For thoughtful reflection on the enormous toll exacted by the Civil War, see Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (New York: Knopf, 2008).
 The number 8,000 comes from Pinsker, Lincoln’s Sanctuary, 94.
 Actually, a small Confederate garrison at Port Hudson, Louisiana still held, but only barely and everyone knew that as Vicksburg went, so would Port Hudson. It did a few days later, on July 9, and then the “Father of Waters” truly did flow “unvexed to the sea,” as Lincoln would note in his public letter to Democratic detractors. As for Gettysburg’s unenviable claim to casualty fame (23,000 Union casualties and 28,000 Confederate casualties), Gabor Boritt has gone so far as to call the battle and its aftermath “the greatest man-made disaster of American history.” See The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech that Nobody Knows (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006), 9.
 Sgt. J.Q.A. Campbell, 5 Iowa, near Vicksburg, MS, in Grimsley and Miller, The Union Must Stand, 110. See also See also Surgeon Thomas Hawley 111 Ill, to parents, July 5, 1863, Young's Point, LA, Thomas S. Hawley Papers Folder 6, Missouri Historical Society. When exuberant citizens in Washington, D.C. called upon Lincoln for some fitting response to the fortuitous war news, the President’s response hit similar notes. As in 1776, Lincoln suggested, “Almighty God” had used July 4th to vindicate the idea that “all men are created equal.” See “Response to Serenade,” July 7, 1863, Washington, DC, in CW VI, p. 319-320.
 Pinsker, Lincoln’s Sanctuary, 106.
 In both June and August 1863, Walt Whitman, who observed the President heading to the White House almost every day, noted that Lincoln “looks even more careworn than usual” and seemed “very sad.” See Roy P. Basler, ed., Walt Whitmans Memoranda During the War & Death of Abraham Lincoln (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1962), pp. 6-7 and Whitman, Specimen Days in David McKay, ed., Prose Works (1892). Soldiers who saw Lincoln also commonly remarked on his “careworn” appearance. When Joseph Twichell got his second glimpse of Lincoln at Falmouth, Virginia, in 1863, he found the President “pale and careworn,”(Chaplain Joseph Twichell, 71 NY, to father, April n.d. 1863, Falmouth, VA, Twichell, “Army Memories,” 54.) James Knight also mentioned the “pale, care worn face of our President” in “Some Experiences of a Soldier and Engineer,” unpublished memoir, 1890, Wisconsin Veterans Museum, Madison, WI. Corporal Abial Edwards observed after the President’s visit to ambulances full of wounded soldiers that Lincoln “looks sad and care worn.” See Cpl. Abial Edwards, 10 ME, to Anna, September 5, 1862, Washington, D.C., Beverly Hayes Kallgren and James L. Crouthamel (eds.), “Dear Friend Anna:” The Civil War Letters of a Common Soldier from Maine (Orono: University of Maine Press, 1992), 32. In Lincoln’s Men: How President Lincoln Became Father to an Army and a Nation (New York: The Free Press, 1999). William C. Davis notes the influence on troops of Lincoln’s “careworn” appearance (pp. 141-44).
 Oakes, The Radical and the Republican, 210-17.
 Lincoln to James C. Conkling, Aug. 26, 1862, CW VI, pp. 406-410.
 Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863, CW VII, p. 23.
 A close look at the hours before delivering the Address strongly suggests that Lincoln had emancipation, not just some abstract notion of freedom, in mind in the Gettysburg Address. On the train ride from Washington, and in Gettysburg the evening before the dedication, Lincoln had talked with Secretary of State Seward, a trusted companion with whom Lincoln enjoyed talking about ideas and what we might now call “the writing process.” Seward had also prepared remarks for the occasion, so the two men almost certainly discussed and compared their remarks. When Seward delivered his own address, he explicitly identified “the removal of that evil,” slavery, as a necessary component of “establishing the principle of democratic government.” Speech of William Seward, Nov. 18, 1863, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, quoted in Boritt, The Gettysburg Gospel, pp. 76-77. Boritt’s explanation for why Lincoln was not as explicit as Seward was that Lincoln was still worried about the divisive effects of mentioning emancipation on the civilian population of Gettysburg, and probably the whole North, in what he hoped would be a unifying speech.
 Pvt. Thomas Covert, 6 OH Cav, to wife, Jan. 11, 1863, Stafford Co., VA, Thomas Covert Papers, Western Reserve Historical Society. For one of many more examples of soldiers anticipating the “new birth of freedom” theme, and championing Lincoln because they assumed he too shared that point of view even though he had not yet articulated it publicly, see Pvt. Ransom Bedell, 39 IL, to cousin Theoda, summer 1863, Morris Island, SC (Ransom Bedell Papers, Illinois State Historical Library), who wrote “we are not for the Union as it was But as it will Be. . . . 'Hurrah' for A. Lincoln.” In The Gettysburg Gospel, Gabor Boritt laments that few Union soldiers seemed to have much to say about the Gettysburg Address in their private correspondence (see pp. 136-38, and note on p.336), but the reason was quite simple: they themselves had already been saying the same thing for some time. Lincoln’s remarks might herald a welcome recognition of what they already knew, but they were also old news especially when the absolutely crucial Battle of Lookout Mountain and the capture of Chattanooga occurred just days after the Address.
 Abraham Lincoln, “Annual Message to Congress,” Dec. 8, 1863, CW VIII p. 40. It should be noted that Lincoln also reiterated the emancipation-as-practical-necessity theme in this Message, see esp. pp. 49-50.
 Jefferson Davis’s conditions for peace were independence and slavery: Lincoln’s were “the integrity of the whole Union” and “the abandonment of slavery,” See the “To Whom it May Concern” Letter, July 18, 1864, CW VII, 451.
 “Democratic Platform of 1864,” Kirk H. Porter (compiler), National Party Platforms (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1924), 59-60.
 Major W.W. Boatright, 71 USCT, to friend Harper, Sept. 8, 1864, Natchez, MS, in Crawford Co. [IL] Argus, Sept. 22, 1864.
 See, for example, Lincoln to Charles D. Robinson (editor of a Democratic newspaper in Green Bay, Wisconsin), Aug. 17, 1864, CW VII, 499-502.
 “Republican Platform of 1864,” Porter (compiler), National Party Platforms, 60-63.
 Lt. J.Q.A. Campbell, 5 IA Cav., diary, Nov. 16, 1864, Nashville, TN, Grimsley and Miller, The Union Must Stand, 193.
 Sgt. Henry Hart, 2 CT Artillery, to wife, Nov. 4, 1864, New Orleans, LA, Henry Hart Letters, Union Miscellany, Emory University. A New York Private, jubilant at the President’s re-election, felt such a strong sense of kinship with Lincoln’s views of the war that he sent the President his re-enlistment stripes as a way of marking that both were signing on for another tour of duty in the same struggle. See Pvt. William Johnson, 184 NY, to Lincoln in Holzer, Dear Mr. Lincoln, 232.
 Capt. Amos Hostetter, 34 IL, to sister and brother-in-law, Jan. 29, 1863, Murfreesboro, TN, Illinois State Historical Library. See also Ransom Bedell, who agreed that “where our nation,” not just the southern half of it, “has failed to act in putting the abomination away from among them that God has allowed war and carnage to operate,” (Pvt. Ransom Bedell, 39 IL, to cousin Theoda, summer 1863, Ransom Bedell Papers, Illinois State Historical Library). Similarly, a New Hampshire private opined that the “durstructive war” had been visited upon the whole nation for the sin of slavery, and it would not end until Americans repented. Then, and only then, “in God’s own good time He will save our Country,” the private contended. See Pvt. Roswell Holbrook, 14 NH, to cousin Malinda, Jan. 11, 1864, Washington, D.C., Roswell Holbrook Letters, Vermont Historical Society.
 Ass’t Sgn. John Moore, 22 United States Colored Troops, to wife, Feb. 7, 1865, Federal Point, NC, James Moore Papers, Special Collections, Perkins Library, Duke University.
 Lincoln, “Meditation on Divine Will,” Sept. 1862, CW V, 403-404.
 See, for example, Lincoln to Eliza P. Gurney, an English Quaker abolitionist, Sept. 4, 1864, in which Lincoln reflected, “The purposes of the Almighty are perfect and must prevail, though we erring mortals may fail to accurately perceive the in advance. We hoped for a happy termination of this terrible war long before this; but God knows best, and has ruled otherwise. We shall yet acknowledge His wisdom and our own error therein. Meanwhile we must work earnestly in the best light He gives us, trusting that so working still conduces to the great ends He ordains. Surely He intends some great good to follow this mighty convulsion, which no mortal could make, and no mortal could stay.” CW VII, 535.
 Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865, CW VIII, 332-33.
 Pvt. William Kesterson, formerly 7 MO Cav and 1 MO Cav, now Invalid Corps (USA), to brother, Oct. 28, 1864, hospital, Springfield, MO, William H. H. Kesterson Letters, Missouri Historical Society.
 In fact, Union troops’ affections for President Lincoln ran so deep, that many referred to him in explicitly familial language. Private Constant Hanks called “Uncle Abraham” while Pennsylvania soldier George Shingle assured a friend that no matter what happened, soldiers would stand by “Father Abraham.” See Pvt. Constant Hanks, 20 NY Militia, to mother, Sept. 13, 1863, with Army of Potomac in eastern VA, Constant Hanks Papers, Special Collections, Perkins Library Duke University; Pvt. George Shingle, 53 PA, to friend Seth Evans, April 2, 1864, near Germanna Ford, VA, Evans Family Papers, Civil War Miscellany Collection, United States Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks. For just a few of the many additional examples of soldiers referring to the President as “Uncle” or “Father,” see Pvt. John Brobst, 25 WI, to Mary, Sept. 27, 1864, near Atlanta, GA, Margaret Brobst Roth (ed.), Well, Mary: Civil War Letters of a Wisconsin Volunteer, (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1960), 92; Pvt. Wilbur Fisk, 2 VT, to Green Mountain Freeman, April 9, 1865, City Point, VA, Emil and Ruth Rosenblatt, eds., Hard Marching Every Day: The Civil War Letters of Private Wilbur Fisk, (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1992), 322-33; Pvt. Amos Breneman, 203 PA, to friend, Oct. 25, 1864, near Richmond, Amos Breneman Letters, Civil War Miscellany Collection 2nd Series, United States Army Military History Institute; Pvt. Justus Silliman, 17 CT, to brother, April 24, 1864, Jacksonville, FL, Edward Marcus (ed.), A New Canaan Private in the Civil War: Letters of Justus M. Silliman, (New Canaan: The New Canaan Historical Society, 1984), 100.
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