Friday, June 8, 2007

Civil War message from Lincoln discovered

McClatchy Newspapers reports that an original letter from President Abraham Lincoln to Major General Henry Halleck, then the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, has been discovered at the National Archives. Lincoln was thrilled about the Union victory at Gettysburg over the forces of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and predicted that if General George Meade could follow through in pursuing the defeated Southern army the Civil War would be over soon. The contents of this letter were already known from other sources, but the original had been lost in storage only to be found by accident. An interesting find from a dark period in American history. The text of the letter reads as follows:

War Department
Washington City
July 7, 1863

Major General Halleck,

We have certain information that Vicksburg surrendered to General Grant on the 4th of July. Now, if Gen. Meade can complete his work so gloriously prosecuted thus far, by the litteral [sic] or substantial destruction of Lee's army, the rebellion will be over.

Yours truly,
A Lincoln