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An excerpt from the beginning of:FATHER ABRAHAMKIND-HEARTED? Mr. Lincoln kind-hearted? I dont believe a man ever lived whod rather seen everybody happy and peaceable than Abraham Lincoln. He never could stand it to have people sufferin or notMoreAn excerpt from the beginning of:FATHER ABRAHAMKIND-HEARTED? Mr. Lincoln kind-hearted? I dont believe a man ever lived whod rather seen everybody happy and peaceable than Abraham Lincoln. He never could stand it to have people sufferin or not gettin what they wanted. Time and time again Ive seen him go taggin up street here in this town after some youngster that was blubberin because he couldnt have what want good for him. Seemed as if he couldnt rest till that child was smilin again. You can go all over Springfield and talk to the people who was boys and girls when he lived here and every blamed one will tell you something he did for em. Everybodys friend, thats what he was. Jest as natural for him to be that way as twas for him to eat or drink.Yes, I suppose bein like that did make the war harder on him. But he had horse sense as well as a big heart, Mr. Lincoln had. He knew you couldnt have war without somebody gettin hurt. He expected sufferin, but he knew twas his business not to have any more than was necessary and to take care of what come. And them was two things that want done like they ought to a been. That was what worried him.Seemed as if hardly anybody at the start had any idea of how important twas to take good care of the boys and keep em from gettin sick or if they did get sick to cure em. I remember Leonard Swett was in here one day long back in 61 and he says: Billy, Mr. Lincoln knows more about how the soldiers in the Army of the Potomac cook flapjacks than you do about puttin up quinine. There aint a blamed thing they do in that army that he aint interested in. I went down to camp with him one day and I never see an old hunter in the woods quicker to spot a rabbits track than he was every little kink about the houseKeepin. When we got back to town he just sat and talked and talked about the way the soldiers was livin, seemed to know all about em everyways: where they was short of shoes, where the rations were poor, where they had camp-fever worst- told me how hardtack was made, what a good thing quinine and onions are to have handy,—best cure for diarrhea, sore feet, homesickness, everything. I never heard anything like it.Seemed to bother Swett a little that Mr. Lincoln took so much interest in all them little things, but I said: Dont you worry, Mr. Swett, Mr. Lincolns got the right idee. An army that dont have its belly and feet taken care of aint goin to do much fightin, and Mr. Lincolns got sense enough to know it. He knows diarrheas a blamed sight more dangerous to the Army of the Potomac than Stonewall Jackson. Trouble so far has been, in my judgment, that the people that ought to have been seein to what the soldiers was eatin and drinkin and whether their beds was dry and their bowels movin, was spendin their time polishin their buttons and shinin their boots for parade.What I dont see, says Swett, is how he learned all the things he knows. They aint the kind of things youd naturally think a president of the United States would be interestin himself in.There twas,—same old fool notion that a president ought to sit inside somewhere and think about the Constitution. I used to be that way—always saw a president lookin like that old picture of Thomas Jefferson up there settin beside a parlor table holdin a roll of parchment in his hand, and Leonard Swett was like me a little in spite of his bein educated.Learned it! Think of Leonard Swett askin that with all his chances of bein with Mr. Lincoln! Learned it just as he had everything by bein so dead interested. Hed learned it if he hadnt been president at all, if hed just been loafin around Washington doin nuthin. Greatest hand to take notice of things.