The World Will Never Forget

The World Will Never Forget

By: Keith Rocco

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Editions and Sizes

50 Signed and Numbered Canvases - 12" x 16"
50 Signed and Numbered Canvases - 18" x 24"

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Excerpt from the historical brief: It was April 3, 1865. After ten grueling and bloody months, Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant had at last broken the Confederate lines surrounding Petersburg, Virginia and entered the Cockade City. Among those following the army into the city was President Abraham Lincoln, who was elated at Grant's success and anxious to see the place that had so long defied all efforts to capture it. The ride to Petersburg took the party through ground the armies had fought over only the day before. Casualties were still scattered about. As they passed by some of the mangled dead the President's personal bodyguard, William H. Crook, saw Lincoln's face settle "into its old lines of sadness." No one felt the tragedy of the war more than Lincoln. Yet, as the end of that war now approached he sought no vengeance or retribution toward the Confederates. The war had wreaked vengeance and suffering enough on both sides. Just a month before, in his second inaugural address, he laid out his view of the war's end: With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. Lincoln had the courage to tell his countrymen what they needed to hear rather than what they wanted or expected on more than one occasion. He had done so earlier, in November 1863, at Gettysburg, where in his Gettysburg Address he defined what the war was about. At its heart it was a question of whether a nation conceived in liberty and "dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal" could survive. The Vice President of the Confederate states had declared that his government was "founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition." Even in the North, Lincoln faced fierce hostility from some parts of the population...