In the strife between the North and the South there was no bitterness in Mr. Lincoln’s composition; he seemed to think only that he had an unpleasant duty to perform, and endeavored to perform it as smoothly as possible. He would, without doubt, have yielded a good deal to the South, only that he kept his duty constantly before his eyes, and that was the compass by which he steered at all times. The results of a battle pained him as much as if he was receiving the wounds himself, for I have often heard him express himself in pained accents while talking over some of the scenes of the war; he was not the man to assume a character for feelings he did not possess; he was as guileless in some respects as a child. How could one avoid liking such a man?
Quoted in David D. Porter, Incidents and Anecdotes of the Civil War (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1886), p. 284.