Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, March 1865 [Excerpt]
. . . On the occasion corresponding
to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously
directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it.
While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted
altogether to saving the Union without war, urgent agents were in the city
seeking to destroy it without war; seeking to dissolve the Union and divide
effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war,
but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the
other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. . . .
. . . With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.