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Page:Samuel Scoville -Abraham Lincoln, His Story.djvu/39

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THE MAN

time to get him before the train went. Lincoln shouldered the trunk and carried it on his back down to the station, arriving just in time to catch the train. This habit of kindness never left him all his life through. He was merciful in the merciless days of the Civil War. He pardoned men condemned for cowardice in battle. "If God Almighty gives a man a cowardly pair of legs," he said, "how can he help running away?"

He allowed no boys of eighteen to be shot for desertion. Once when a man was condemned to death for sleeping at his post he drove ten miles in the middle of the night to make sure that his telegram pardoning him had been received. On the very day of his death he said at a Cabinet meeting, when the treatment of the Confederate leaders was under discussion: "Enough lives have been sacrificed. We must extinguish our resentments."

Thirty-six hours after the fall of Richmond Lincoln visited the place and sought out the home of General Pickett, who had made the great charge at Gettysburg. Lincoln had known him as a boy. He found the house and knocked at the door. "Is this where George Pickett lives?" he asked a woman who came to answer the door with a baby in her arms. She said that it was and that she was Mrs.