President Address Religious and Military Issues – And Gives Thanks

May 13, 1862

President Lincoln responds the General Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Church visiting the White House:  “I welcome here the representatives of the Evangelical Lutherans of the United States.  I accept with gratitude their assurances of the sympathy and support of that enlightened, influential, and loyal class of my fellow-citizens in an important crisis which involves, in my judgment, not only the civil and religious liberties of our own dear land, but in a large degree the civil and religious liberties of mankind in many countries and through many ages.  You well know, gentlemen, and the world knows, how reluctantly I accepted this issue of battle forced upon me, on my advent to this place, by the internal enemies of our country.  You all know, the world knows the forces and the resources the public agents have brought into employment to sustain a Government against which there has been brought not one complaint of real injury committed against society, at home or abroad.  You all may recollect that in taking up the sword thus forced into our hands this Government appealed to the prayers of the pious and the good, and declared that it placed its whole dependence upon the favor of God.  I now humbly and reverently in your presence, reiterate the acknowledgement of that dependence, not doubting that, if it shall please the Divine Being who determine the destinies of nations that this shall remain a united people, they will, humbly seeking the Divine guidance, make their prolonged national existence a source of new benefits to themselves and their successors, and to all classes and conditions of mankind.”

President Lincoln also writes the president of a Philadelphia synagogue to thank him for “a copy of a Prayer recently delivered at your Synagogue, and to thank you heartily for your expressions of kindness and confidence.”

President Lincoln speaks to the soldiers of the Twelfth Indiana Regiment:

It has not been customary heretofore, nor will it be hereafter, for me to say something to every regiment passing in review.  It occurs too frequently for me to have speeches ready on all occasions.  As you have paid such a mark of respect to the Chief Magistrate, it appears proper that I should say a word or two in reply.

Your Colonel has thought fit, on his own account and in your names, to say that you are satisfied with the manner in which I have performed my part in the difficulties which have surrounded the nation.  For your kind expressions I am extremely grateful, but, on the other hand, I assure you that the nation is more indebted to you, and such as you, than to me.  It is upon the brave hearts and strong arms of the people of the country that our reliance has been placed in support of free government and free institutions.

For the part that you and the brave army of which you are a part have, under Providence, performed in this great struggle, I tender more thanks–greatest thanks that can be possibly due–and especially to this regiment, which has been the subject of good report.  The thanks of the nation will follow you, and may God’s blessing rest upon you now and forever.  I hope that upon your return to your homes you will find your friends and loved ones well and happy.  I bid you farewell.

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Published in: on May 13, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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