Lincoln took the November election, winning seven times as many states as McClellan and 10 times as many electoral votes. In one shining March moment the following year, he dedicated the country to “malice toward none” and “charity for all,” as powerful a legacy as his Emancipation Proclamation.
The next month the war ended and Lincoln was assassinated. America’s sadness marched on, along with this truth: Lincoln won three of the most important campaigns in the nation’s history, two for himself, one for the North, but really all of them for the country he served and helped define.
North Shore native and Pulitzer Prize winner David M. Shribman is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.