President Lincoln Returns to Washington

October 4, 186

President Lincoln winds up his visit to the Union Army headquarters in Virginia – visiting a gravely wounded General Israel B. “Fight Dick” Richardson.  General George B. McClellan accompanies Lincoln as far as the battlefield of South Mountain.  Along his return to Washington, President Lincoln gives two brief speeches in Frederick Maryland.  The first occasion came when some local residents greeted him enthusiastically as he visited a wounded Union General,  George L. Hartsuff. : “In my present position it is hardly proper for me to make speeches. Every word is so closely noted that it will not do to make trivial ones, and I cannot be expected to be prepared to make a matured one just now. If I were as I have been most of my life, I might perhaps, talk amusing to you for half an hour, and it wouldn’t hurt anybody; but as it is, I can only return my sincere thanks for the compliment paid our cause and our common country.”

In the second speech at the railroad station , Lincoln says: “I see myself surrounded by soldiers, and a little further off I note the citizens of this good city of Frederick, anxious to hear something from me. I can only say, as I did five minutes ago, it is not proper for me to make speeches in my present position. I return thanks to our soldiers for the good service they have rendered, for the energies they have shown, the hardships they have endured, and the blood they have so nobly shed for this dear Union of ours; and I also return thanks not only to the soldiers, but to the good citizens of Maryland, and to all the good men and women in this land, for their devotion to our glorious cause. I say this without any malice in my heart to those who have done otherwise. May our children and our children’s children to a thousand generations, continue to enjoy the benefits conferred upon us by a united country, and have cause yet to rejoice under those glorious institutions bequeathed us by Washington and his compeers. Now, my friends, soldiers and citizens, I can only say once more, farewell.”

From Frederick, President Lincoln continues his travel by train.  About 10 PM, the presidential party arrives back at the White House.

Published in: on October 4, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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