More speeches from President Lincoln:
At the start of the Civil War, Lincoln addressed a special session of Congress and detailed the history of the final time before the outbreak of hostilities. He pointed out all the ways that the US government had bent over backwards to avoid a war, but the Southern states were determined and attacked Fort Sumter without provocation. I never knew how all that happened, so it was interesting. He then offered a legal defense of the reasons that secession was illegal and unconstitutional.
As it became clear that the war was not going to be short, Lincoln issued a proclamation of a day of prayer and fasting.
I actually read these a few weeks ago and then dropped the ball--again!--about posting. So I'll be reading post-Civil War material for the next few weeks.