“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies.” The words near the end of Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address echo with a heartbreaking poignancy. For of course, war did come, and it came with a violence and bitterness far greater than anyone—save, perhaps, William Tecumseh Sherman—ever imagined possible.
And yet the rest of the close of the inaugural address proved, in the long run, prophetic: “Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better ...