August 26, 1862: Mary Todd Lincoln’s woes

Mary Todd Lincoln

The Richmond Daily Dispatch reprints this item from the Atlanta Intelligencer. Despite their protestations, it seems a bit like a taunt to me. In any case, Mary Todd Lincoln did lose two brothers who fought for the south in the war, and I don’t doubt that the editor wanted the war to end.

Woe upon the Lady of the White House.

The “Lady of the White House,” as Mrs. Lincoln is termed by the Northern papers, has doubtless felt deeply the woe that has been brought upon her by the unnatural war which Lincoln is waging upon the South. She has recently lost another brother, Lieut A. H. Todd, who [fell in] Baton Rouge gallantly battling for Southern independence. He was [a] noble gentleman and officer, and was attached to the 1st Kentucky. The brother was killed at Shiloh, and the only brother now left is said to be Captain Todd, now in command of the Confederate water battery below Vicksburg. May this last one be spared to his country! In penning this notice of the woe that has come upon Mrs. Lincoln. our design is not to reproach, much less to taunt or insult her. She is the sister of the gallant dead to whom we have referred and respect for their devoted patriotism and manly virtues forbid any such attempts on our part. We only refer to it to show the horrors which war produces and this unnatural one more than all. Well has it been written that.

“Man’s inhumanity to man.
Makes counties thousands mourn.”

In this bloody war brothers have drawn the sword upon brothers; fathers upon sons, and sons upon fathers. Those who should have been “loving in life,” and who in death, “should not have been divided,” have hated in life, and been divided in death. Take only this one family of noble name and deeds — the Todd family of Kentucky–as an illustration, and what may not be written of it of heroic deeds, and of woe unutterable — of patriotic suffering, and of political pride and power! “Esther, the Queen,” saved “Mordecai.” Would that a second Esther could stay this bloody war.

–Atlanta (Ga) Intelligencer.

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