Born in 1809 in Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln worked as storekeeper, served as a militia captain, and was employed as a postmaster, before serving four terms in the Illinois state government. By 1836 he was a licensed lawyer and in 1847 served a term in the U.S. House of Representatives. The debates he had in his loss to Stephen Douglas propelled him to national recognition. In 1860, as the Republican nominee, he was elected president of the United States.
During the war Lincoln's primary concerns were the preservation of the Union and, with the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, the abolishment of slavery. To achieve this he believed in the vigorous prosecution of the war and allowed the enlistment of African-American troops. In the fall of 1864 with long casualty lists and stagnant battlefronts at Petersburg and Atlanta, Lincoln's re-election was only assured with Gen. Sherman's victory in Georgia and Gen. Sheridan's victory in the Shenandoah Valley.
In late March 1865, Lincoln visited Grant at City Point. It was here he had his last conference with Generals Grant and Sherman and Admiral Porter regarding the terms of surrender for Confederate forces. Also, Lincoln would leave from City Point to visit Richmond when it fell into Union hands.
Less than a week after leaving Grant's headquarters Lincoln is assassinated.
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Did You Know?
Poplar Grove National Cemetery, located just south of Petersburg, Virginia, has two Medal of Honor recipients buried there: Lewis Morgan (Grave #3142) and Henry Hardenburg (Grave #1283). (Petersburg National Battlefield)