This Week in the Civil War - 532

Mar 22, 2013

Throughout the war, President Abraham Lincoln maintained an active correspondence with many individuals, both military and civilian.

To the Radical Republican Congressman Henry Winter Davis, who opposed Lincoln on several political issues, the president wrote on March 18, 1863, noting: “Let the friends of the government first save the government, and then administer it to their own liking.”

But Lincoln could also extend a hand of friendship, writing New York Governor Horatio Seymour, a Democrat and an occasional critic of Lincoln’s Administration, wisely noting: “there can not be a difference of purpose between you and me.  If we should differ as to the means, it is important that such difference should be as small as possible—that it should not be enhanced by unjust suspicion on one side or the other.”