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.

May's Archived Features:

Wednesday May 1, 2019
Thursday May 2, 2019
Friday May 3, 2019
Saturday May 4, 2019
Sunday May 5, 2019
Monday May 6, 2019
Tuesday May 7, 2019
Wednesday May 8, 2019
Thursday May 9, 2019
Friday May 10, 2019
Saturday May 11, 2019
Sunday May 12, 2019
Monday May 13, 2019
Tuesday May 14, 2019
Wednesday May 15, 2019
Thursday May 16, 2019
Friday May 17, 2019
Saturday May 18, 2019
Sunday May 19, 2019
Monday May 20, 2019



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.