Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces
of destruction to the Government, nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might; and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty, as we understand it.
- Speech at New Haven, CT, March 6, 1860
This letter was received by General U.S. Grant on May 1, 1864, three days before the Wilderness Campaign began. A facsimile of this letter in Lincoln's handwriting follows.
APRIL 30, 1864
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, APRIL 30, 1864
LIEUTENANT GENERAL GRANT.
Not expecting to see you again before the Spring campaign opens, I wish to express in this way, my entire satisfaction with what you have done up to this time, so far as I understand it. The particulars of your plans I neither know or seek to know. You are vigilant and self-reliant; and, pleased with this, I wish not to obtrude any constraints or restraints upon you. While I am very anxious that any great disaster, or the capture of our men in great numbers, shall be avoided, I know these points are less likely to escape your attention than they would be mine -- If there is anything wanting which is within my power to give, do not fail to let me know it.
And now with a brave army, and a just cause, may God sustain you.
Yours very truly,
source: Grant, U.S. "Preparing for the Wilderness Campaign," The Century Magazine, Vol. XXI, No. 4, February 1886, New York, p. 581.