Executive Mansion
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864


To Mrs. Bixby, Boston, Mass.

Dear Madam,

                                      I have been shown in the files
of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant
General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of
five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. 
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of
mine which should attempt to beguile you from the
grief  of a loss so overwhelming.  But I cannot refrain
from tendering you the consolation that may be found
in the thanks of the republic they died to save.  I
pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish
of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished
memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride
that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice
upon the altar of freedom.

Yours very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln


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