The Civil War, 1861-1865

Author: Abraham Lincoln  | Date: 1864

Lincoln’s Letter to Mrs. Bixby

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Executive Mansion, Washington, November 21, 1864.

MRS. BIXBY, Boston, Massachusetts:

DEAR MADAM: 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,



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Chicago: Abraham Lincoln, "Lincoln’s Letter to Mrs. Bixby," The Civil War, 1861-1865 in Harvard Classics, Vol.43, P.446 Original Sources, accessed March 29, 2023,

MLA: Lincoln, Abraham. "Lincoln’s Letter to Mrs. Bixby." The Civil War, 1861-1865, in Harvard Classics, Vol.43, P.446, Original Sources. 29 Mar. 2023.

Harvard: Lincoln, A, 'Lincoln’s Letter to Mrs. Bixby' in The Civil War, 1861-1865. cited in , Harvard Classics, Vol.43, P.446. Original Sources, retrieved 29 March 2023, from