Lincoln on National Defense

Lincoln supported a strong military, including a draft, to defend the Nation, saying, “Shall we shrink from the necessary means to maintain our free government, which our grandfathers employed to establish it and our own fathers have already employed once to maintain it?”

Letter to Joseph Segar, September 5, 1863


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Lincoln on the Veterans Administration

“This extraordinary war in which we are engaged falls heavily upon all classes of people, but the most heavily upon the soldier. For it has been said, all that a man hath will he give for his life; and while all contribute of their substance, the soldier puts his life at stake, and often yields it up in his country’s cause. The highest merit, then, is due to the soldier.”

Remarks, Washington, D.C., March 16, 1864

“As God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan – ”

Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865


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