This series following contributions of famous community organizers today celebrates the work of a president often likened to President Obama… by President Obama.
In 1865 following the historic surrender of Lee to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse… President Lincoln fulfilled his campaign commitment to withdraw all US troops from the states with whom we were at war. Though General Grant and his entire staff cautioned against the move, claiming it would leave a power vacuum… Lincoln boldly refused to be deterred.
“I said I’d end the war in the south, & I ended the war in the south. Stonewall Jackson’s dead, the Confederates are on the run.
Let me be clear. We will not be an occupying force. That’s just not what we’re about.”
~ Abraham Lincoln 1865
Initially sensing a trap, southerners held off acting on the unexpected turn, but shortly thereafter they rebuilt their own army and set up a new government led by a man freed from US custody.
Today a statue of Lincoln stands in the public square of Richmond, capitol of the Confederate States of America. The inscription reads “To our great emancipator”.
The statue was built using the labor of over 200 slaves.