The Civil War, Day by Day

Lincoln's Inaugural Ball

President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural

On March 4, 1865, Abraham Lincoln took his second oath of office from Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase. Lincoln showed visible signs of age and fatigue…the inevitable aftereffects of a painful, trying war.

Nonetheless, Lincoln was relieved that the future finally looked bright for the Union. General William T. Sherman had completed his march to the sea, and such Confederate strongholds as Atlanta, Savannah, and Charleston had fallen to the North. Lincoln was now forming a plan for national reconstruction - which, as he told the attending throng, included forgiveness toward the South.

“With malice toward none; with charity toward 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,” Lincoln urged. He went on to plead for Americans “to do all which may achieve a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”

That evening, Lincoln attended his Inaugural Ball…where the shy and socially awkward President was suddenly thrust into the limelight and the social whirl of Washington D.C. Many young ladies were charmed and honored to dance with “Honest Abe.”

Lincoln was surprised that he was elected to a second term, considering the strong emotions that surrounded the Civil War. However, the success of the Union army in the war had done much to enhance Lincoln’s position - but most importantly, his second presidential victory was a testimony to his gentle strength and love for all humanity.

April's Archived Features:

Wednesday April 1, 2020
Thursday April 2, 2020
Friday April 3, 2020
Saturday April 4, 2020
Sunday April 5, 2020
Monday April 6, 2020
Tuesday April 7, 2020
Wednesday April 8, 2020



All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.