President Lincoln wrote this letter expressing condolences to Mrs. Bixby, a widow who it was believed had lost five sons in the Civil War.
May all of our Veterans be remembered for the sacrifices that they have made for our country. We should hold dear the courage that these brave men and women have shown in service to our United States.
Executive Mansion, Washington, Nov. 21, 1864
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.
I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,