Lincoln’s Poignant Visit to Confederate Wounded

September 28, 1862/2012
Volume 3, Issue 39 (103 Issues Since 15 October 2010)

Poor Southern Women Object to Class-Biased Confederate Conscription Act

On September 27, 1862, the Confederacy’s second conscription act was passed, making men 18-45 years of age (and not just men ages 18-35) subject to the draft. But the law included exemptions from the draft that were useful only to slave owners. Many poor Southerners, particularly women, saw the legislation as class-biased.

Martha Coletrane, the wife of a North Carolina soldier, wrote to her governor, “[A]s we are nonslave holders in this section of the state I hope you and our legislature will look to it and have justice done our people as well as the slaveholders. . . . Without my husband we are a desolate and a ruined family. . . . Hold the rane in your own hands, . . .and do not let the confederate congress have the full sway over your state[.] I appeal to you to look to the white cultivaters as strictly as congress has to the slaveholder.'”

– Submitted by Peter A. Gilbert, Executive Director, Vermont Humanities Council

SOURCE

Stephanie McCurry, Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South, p. 165.

INTERESTING LINK

Letter from Martha Coletrane to Governor Zebulon B. Vance, The Home Front: Hardships of War, North Carolina Museum of History


Lincoln’s Poignant Visit to Confederate Wounded

October 4, 1862. Lincoln spent most of the first week of October with the Army of the Potomac in Maryland. In the morning of October 4, he visited wounded soldiers near Antietam. A Baltimore newspaper reported on his visit to wounded Confederate soldiers:

“Passing through one of the hospitals devoted exclusively to Confederate sick and wounded, President Lincoln’s attention was drawn to a young Georgian — a fine noble looking youth — stretched upon a humble cot. He was pale, emaciated and anxious, far from kindred and home, vibrating, as it were, between life and death. Every stranger that entered [was] caught in his restless eyes, in hope of their being some relative or friend. President Lincoln observed this youthful soldier, approached and spoke, asking him if he suffered much pain. ‘I do,’ was the reply. ‘I have lost a leg, and feel I am sinking from exhaustion.’ ‘Would you,’ said Mr. Lincoln, ‘shake hands with me if I were to tell you who I am?’ The response was affirmative. ‘There should,’ remarked the young Georgian, ‘be no enemies in this place.’ Then said the distinguished visitor, ‘I am Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States.’ The young sufferer raised his head, looking amazed, and freely extended his hand, which Mr. Lincoln took and pressed tenderly for some time.

President Lincoln with Allan Pinkerton (left) and Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand (right) on On October 3, 1862 in Antietam, Md. Photo by Alexander Gardner, courtesy Library of Congress.

President Lincoln with Allan Pinkerton (left) and Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand (right) on On October 3, 1862 in Antietam, Md. Photo by Alexander Gardner, courtesy Library of Congress.

– Submitted by Peter A. Gilbert, Executive Director, Vermont Humanities Council

SOURCE

Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography, p. 191.

INTERESTING LINKS

View a collection of images of President Lincoln at Antietam from the Library of Congress.

Abraham Lincoln at Antietam

Close up images at Old-Picture.com: President Abraham Lincoln at Antietam and The Man Who Made a Deal with God

Antietam National Battlefield

Leave a comment

Filed under Civil War Book of Days: 1862

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s