Envelope detail from Valentine Hodgson letter, 9/17/1861

A.H. Clark, a Peekskill veteran, remarked on Lincoln's appearance: "The most enthusiastic admirers of Mr. Lincoln, never made any claims in his behalf for grace of person or manner." Of Lincoln's cause, Clark writes: "slavery and justice were incompatible." Valentine Hodgson, First Lieutenant of the 67th Infantry, echoes these sentiments. In an 1861 letter Hodgson wrote: "I must admit that he did not make a very great military appearance with his high beaver hat and long legs as he sat astride a medium sized horse, but the fact that he was the President made amends in the minds of soldiers and their officers."

Late in the war Hodgson encountered Lincoln regularly in the course of his duties in the Treasury Barracks near the White House. He wrote in an 1864 letter: "Lincoln never expressed any doubt that the North would succeed…He firmly believed that God was on our side and we must win."

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