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GEORGE PICKETT'S FRIEND
BY CHARLES W. MOORES
GEORGE PICKETT, who had known Lincoln in Illinois, years
before, joined the Southern army, and by his conspicuous
bravery and ability had become one of the great generals of
the Confederacy. Toward the close of the war, when a large
part of Virginia had fallen into the possession of the Union
army, the President called at General Pickett's Virginia
The general's wife, with her baby on her arm, met him at the
door. She herself has told the story for us.
" 'Is this George Pickett's home?' he asked.
"With all the courage and dignity I could
 muster, I replied: 'Yes, and I am his wife, and this is his
" 'I am Abraham Lincoln.'
" 'The President!' I gasped. I had never seen him, but I
knew the intense love and reverence with which my soldier
always spoke of him.
"The stranger shook his head and replied: 'No; Abraham
Lincoln, George's old friend.'
"The baby pushed away from me and reached out his hands to
Mr. Lincoln, who took him in his arms. As he did so an
expression of rapt, almost divine tenderness and love
lighted up the sad face. It was a look that I have never
seen on any other face. The baby opened his mouth wide and
insisted upon giving his father's friend a dewy kiss.
"As Mr. Lincoln gave the little one back to me he said:
'Tell your father, the rascal, that I forgive him for the
sake of your bright eyes.' "