Dear General--Sunday at the White House was, even more than elsewhere, a day by itself. No anxious visitors waited in the vacant ante-rooms; no busy committee men promenaded up and down in the halls; no strolling parties of gaping sight-seers peered into the corners and examined their dresses in the mirrors of the parlors and the East Room. It was evident to every eye that this was Sunday, and yet under all the surface of silence and decorum, the great work was uninterrupted even by the Lord's Day. The sentries paced their beats up and down the several entrances, the messengers came and went, and unceasingly the electric click sustained its irregular pulsations in the dingy rooms in the War Office Building, carrying orders to and bringing reports from the countless armies of the Great Republic.
War has no Sunday, no day of rest, no hour that is sacred above the others--and civil war least of all.
President Lincoln was deeply and genuinely religious, without being in any way what may be called a religionist. His religion was in his faith and in his life rather than in any profession.1 So far as I know, his religious belief or opitions never, at any period of his life, took the shape of a formal profession. His nature was not at all enthusiastic, and his mind was subject to none of the fevers which pass with the weak and shallow for religious fervor, and in this, as in all other things, he was too thoroughly honest to assume that which he did not feet.
In Dr. Gurley's church (Presbyterian), in Washington, there is a pew set apart for the President of the United States, and, as Mrs. Lincoln was a member of that denomination, she attended morning service pretty regularly, and frequently;2 when affairs of State permitted, Mr. Lincoln accompanied her. He was not, however, a man to pay much attention to or care much about the thin walls of separation between different denominations.
Either his ancestors or some near relatives of his had been Quakers, and
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Publication information: Book title: Inside the White House in War Times:Memoirs and Reports of Lincoln's Secretary. Contributors: William O. Stoddard - Author, Michael Burlingame - Editor. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press. Place of publication: Lincoln, NE. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 176.