Thursday, May 10, 2012

Abraham Lincoln Visits Southern Soldiers in Hospital

Pol Light Moment #7 is when Abraham Lincoln visited the Southern soldiers in the hospital during the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. Lincoln was a wartime President and in this Pol Light Moment we read the story of when he was performing hospital visitation and took the time to not only see Union soldiers but also see sick and wounded prisoners from the Southern army who were being cared for in a Union hospital.

The account of this story is preserved in the writings of Dr. Jerome Walker of Brooklyn who accompanied President Lincoln when he visited the Ninth City Ward Hospital in City Point, Virginia in 1865. President Lincoln visited this hospital just a week before he was assassinated. This is the first person account of Dr. Jerome Walker.
Finally, after visiting the wards occupied by our invalid and convalescing soldiers, we came to three wards occupied by sick and wounded Southern prisoners. With a feeling of patriotic duty, I said, 'Mr. President, you won't want to go in there; they are only rebels.' I will never forget how he stopped and laid his large hand upon my soldier and quietly answered, 'You mean Confederates.' And I have meant Confederates ever since. 
There was nothing left for me to do after the President's remark but to go with him through these three wards; and I could not see but that he was just as kind, his handshakings just as hearty, his interest just as real for welfare of the men, as when he was among our own soldiers.
As we returned to headquarters, the President urged upon me the importance of caring for them as faithfully as I should for our own sick and wounded. (Source)  

Abraham Lincoln has been featured on other Pol Light posts. To view all Abraham Lincoln posts search with Abraham Lincoln label at Pol Light.

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

Photo: The photo in this post of Abraham Lincoln is in the Public Domain.

1 comment:

  1. is seeking documents, memoirs, letters, diary's, etc. pertaining to Abraham Lincoln during the last two weeks of his life (at City Point) for a new book by author Andy Trudeau. If you know of anyone who might have such information we would greatly appreciate your sharing the website with them.