Abraham Lincoln & Robert E. Lee united for a cause

I don’t think they ever met- Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee. On the morning of Lincoln’s assassination, his son Robert showed his father President Lincoln a picture of General Lee. Lincoln remarked something to the effect that it was a good face. Obviously, they were both on opposite sides of the war that split the nation in two. Lee had been a particular thorn in Lincoln’s side as he outgeneraled most of his Union commanders. So how did they come together for a cause? Only in death.

In the early 20th century there was the “Lincoln-Lee Legion.” Yes, the Lincoln-Lee Legion. This union of names was formed in 1912 to represent a national effort to obtain pledges from the children of Amercia to commit to alcohol abstinance. Many organizations, including churches- were part of the drive. Millions of pledge cards were completed over the decade following. Northern boys were known as “Lincolns” and Southern boys “Lees.” Girls were collectively known as “Willards” -after Frances Willard-well known at that time for her stand on alcohol.  I’m not sure when the movement died out. I wonder what positive impact it had on the lives of the signers. We’ll never know, I guess. How strange that Lincoln and Lee should be joined together-even though in death-to bring about what was thought to be a public good.

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