Was Lincoln Honoring Dead Confederate as Well as Union Soldiers?

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#21
It's clear that the war was not over when Lincoln was shot, given that there were two major armies yet to surrender. In the six days between Lee's surrender and Lincoln's assassination did he say anything to honor Confederate soldiers?

I would venture that he didn't. "Let 'em up easy" was already far more forgiving than most governments in history had been towards those who had undertaken an armed rebellion.
 

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#22
It's clear that the war was not over when Lincoln was shot, given that there were two major armies yet to surrender. In the six days between Lee's surrender and Lincoln's assassination did he say anything to honor Confederate soldiers?

I would venture that he didn't. "Let 'em up easy" was already far more forgiving than most governments in history had been towards those who had undertaken an armed rebellion.
I've never seen anything, but I welcome anyone who has evidence to the contrary. :smile:
 

jackt62

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#23
Never heard any specific reference to Lincoln honoring confederate soldiers. I would tend to think Lincoln would not have made that kind of reference. While he certainly believed in "letting them up easy" and was a conciliator, Lincoln was also very clear about who was responsibile for bringing on the war. In that sense, he would not be so willing to honor confederate fighters.
 
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#24
Never heard any specific reference to Lincoln honoring confederate soldiers. I would tend to think Lincoln would not have made that kind of reference. While he certainly believed in "letting them up easy" and was a conciliator, Lincoln was also very clear about who was responsibile for bringing on the war. In that sense, he would not be so willing to honor confederate fighters.
This would go along with my understanding of Lincoln's views towards the Confederates; hold them responsible, but when the shooting stopped, "let them up easy".
 

jackt62

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#25
That's right. Lincoln was forward looking. Once the shooting was over, he needed to make sure the country could heal. Unlike the experience of the aftermath of civil wars in other countries (Spain, Soviet Union, China), in which the victor pretty much lined up the opponents against a wall to be shot, or sent to a Gulag somewhere.
 

byron ed

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#26
"We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Pretty clear Lincoln was referring to the Union soldiers.
Not at all. Any fallen Southern would certainly have been for "a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people." Most all Southerners would have ascribed to that. The Confederacy itself ascribed to that.

That's to point out that in that speech Lincoln didn't make anything of the difference of sides in their views of who should be considered "the people," as he might have done if he wished to be less inclusive. (That would have been disingenuous, since Lincoln knew full well that not all Northerners agreed on who should be considered "the people.")
 
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#27
I've often felt the greatest tragedy endured by the Confederacy was not the ANV surrender at Appomattox, nor the subsequent surrenders following soon after, but the assassination of President Lincoln himself. A tragedy shared by both sides of the conflict.

President Lincoln was, indeed, a conciliator at heart. I often wonder how Reconstruction might have differed with him at the helm.
 

Carronade

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#28
"We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Pretty clear Lincoln was referring to the Union soldiers.
Not at all. Any fallen Southern would certainly have been for "a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people." Most all Southerners would have ascribed to that. The Confederacy itself ascribed to that.

That's to point out that in that speech Lincoln didn't make anything of the difference of sides in their views of who should be considered "the people," as he might have done if he wished to be less inclusive. (That would have been disingenuous, since Lincoln knew full well that not all Northerners agreed on who should be considered "the people.")
"these dead" clearly refers to the Union dead in the cemetery that was being dedicated.

In Lincoln's view, Union victory was an absolute precondition for the "new birth of freedom" for the nation, including the South.
 

AndyHall

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#29
Lincoln requested the band play "Dixie," on (it seems) two occasions at the very end of the war, in April 1865. On one of those occasions he referred to the song (close paraphrase) as a "prize of war." There is no record of his detailed thinking on that, although he might have intended it to be seen as a magnanimous gesture to the South. But it was clearly from the position of the victor in a long and arduous conflict, and I don't think intended to honor or dignify the Confederacy in any sense.
 

jackt62

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#31
Not at all. Any fallen Southern would certainly have been for "a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people." Most all Southerners would have ascribed to that. The Confederacy itself ascribed to that.

That's to point out that in that speech Lincoln didn't make anything of the difference of sides in their views of who should be considered "the people," as he might have done if he wished to be less inclusive. (That would have been disingenuous, since Lincoln knew full well that not all Northerners agreed on who should be considered "the people.")
But in this case, the Address was specifically earmarked to dedicate the cemetery containing Union graves.
 



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