[The Following Extract]The Illustrated London News, vol. 47, no. 1347, p. 594.
December 16, 1865
The following extract from a letter recently written by Mrs. Lincoln, the widow of the late President of the United States, is published by the New York Independent.--"Truly," writes Mrs. Lincoln, "no sorrow has been like unto mine. I am as broken-hearted over this overwhelming affliction as when the terrible tragedy first occurred, and of course realise it far more. I have lost the most loving and devoted of husbands, and my dear boys the best father that sons were ever blest with. 'Until God's love shall place me by his side again,' I shall know no peace or alleviation of my grief. Knowing him as you did, I am sure you can pardon and appreciate a wife's great sorrow over so untimely a loss! How I wish you could have been with my dear husband the last few weeks of his life! Having a realising sense that the unnatural rebellion was near its close, and being most of the time away from Washington, where he had passed through such conflicts of mind during the last four years--feeling so encouraged, he freely gave vent to his cheerfulness. Down the Potomac he was almost boyish in his mirth, and reminded me of his original nature as I remembered him in our own home, free from care, surrounded by those he loved. That terrible Friday I never saw him so supremely cheerful. His manner was even playful. At three o'clock he drove out with me in the open carriage. In starting, I asked him if anyone should accompany us. He immediately replied, 'No; I prefer to ride by ourselves to-day.' During the drive he was so gay that I said to him, laughingly, 'Dear husband, you almost startle me by your great cheerfulness.' He replied, 'And well I may feel so, Mary; for I consider this day the war has come to a close; and then added, 'We must both be more cheerful in the future. Between the war and the loss of our darling Willie we have been very miserable.' Every word he then uttered is deeply engraved on my poor broken heart."