WEST POINT, N.Y. – Addressing the nation on the progress of the Civil War, President Lincoln apologized for the North’s “mistake” in waging war in the first place and blamed the Buchanan administration for all that’s gone wrong in the war “and everywhere else.” The president then announced that the Union would see the conflict through to its conclusion, no matter what – so long as the conflict concludes by April 9, 1865, or exactly 18 months from today, because that’s when Union troops will be coming home, ”win, lose, or draw.”
The president acknowledged that signaling the date of troop withdrawal ”probably isn’t such a bright idea,” but to prove he was committed to keeping his word, he said he has purchased tickets to attend a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington on the evening of April 14, 1865. The president has avoided attending plays while the Union is at war. “Mrs. Lincoln and I will be seated in the presidential box in case anybody is looking for me,” Lincoln joked.
The president waxed eloquent about the noble cause of eradicating slavery, but added, ”hey, this is really the negros’ fight, not ours.” In addition: “We’ll help them to the extent we can, but the days of providing a blank check are over. So, yeah, good luck to them.”