Abraham Lincoln Letter to General Sherman Concerning the Capture of Savannah

Lincoln Documents

Lincoln Documents

December 26, 1864

Executive Mansion

Washington Dec. 26. 1864

My Dear General Sherman

Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift, the capture of Savannah.

When you were about leaving Atlanta for the Atlantic Coast, I was anxious, if not fearful; but feeling that you were the better judge, and remembering that “nothing risked, nothing gained,” I did not interfere. Now, the undertaking being a success, the honor is all yours; for I believe that none of us went farther than to acquiesce. And taking the work of Gen. Thomas into the count, as it should be taken, it is indeed a great success. Not only does it afford the obvious and immediate military advantages; but, in showing to the world that your army could be divided, putting the stronger part to an important new service, and yet leaving enough to vanquish the old opposing force of the whole — Hood’s army — it brings those who sat in darkness to see a great light. But what next! I suppose it will be safe, if I leave Gen. Grant and yourself to decide.

Please make very grateful acknowledgments to your whole army — officers and men.

Yours very truly

A. Lincoln

For a Close Reading Video Interpretation of this Document Click Here

From the Abraham Lincoln Collection at the Library of Congress
For more information: