The Legend of Lincoln the Lifesaver

I apologize if any of our readers happen to be adverse to history. But considering that I got my degree in the subject, you can hardly blame me for featuring a historical anecdote every now and again.

While perusing Slate the other day, I came upon an interesting article that shed light on a little-known episode that occurred during the Civil War, a story that shows firsthand the empathy of the president of the time, Abraham Lincoln.

In 1863, a man named Michael Delaney was sentenced to death after deserting his Union regiment in Colorado. His case made it all the way to President Lincoln, who noted that Delaney had subsequently re-enlisted with a different regiment after leaving the first. As a result of this important detail, Lincoln decided to pardon Delaney of his crime, sparing him an ignominious death.

As you can see below, Lincoln scrawled his decision on Delaney’s file, writing, “Let him fight instead of being shot. A Lincoln”

The document is one of the many historical treasures stashed away in the vaults at the National Archives for the sake of posterity

This remarkable document serves as a little reminder of the difficult decisions a president must make. Perhaps, even more so, it serves as further evidence of Lincoln’s fundamental goodness and strong moral code.


Read more: “Abraham Lincoln Scrawled This Astonishing Note To Save a Soldier’s Life”

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