Abraham, Lincoln

A Different Take on Abraham Lincoln

Talk with longtime Charlestonians about Abraham Lincoln and you probably won’t hear the glowing words most of the nation pours on him.
And it has nothing to do with slavery or secession.  Mostly, it has to do with one decision in particular that he made — and stuck to  — which Charlestonians to this day consider an act of inexcusable barbarity.
On Aug. 29, 1863, Lincoln personally ordered Union cannoneers on Morris Island to bombard a part of Charleston that was composed of nothing but private residences, hospitals, schools and shops.  The area had no military presence at all, and Lincoln knew it.
Lincoln’s weapon of choice was a 16,500-pound Parrot cannon that could hurl incendiary shells  more than four miles.  And he didn’t stop firing.  He kept up the bombardment every day for 587 consecutive days, until the Civil War ended.
He may be forgiven, but not forgotten.

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