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Today in history: Lincoln reveals the real goal of the Civil War
"If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all slaves I would do it"
 
It was all about saving the Union.
It was all about saving the Union. Brady/Getty Images

Aug. 22, 1862: President Lincoln told a New York newspaper that preserving the Union was his main goal of the Civil War — not abolishing slavery.

"If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all slaves I would do it," Lincoln said.

The comments were in response to an open letter to the president by Horace Greeley, a well-known journalist of the day.

You can read both Greeley's letter and Lincoln's response here.

Quote of the day

"We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it." -Abraham Lincoln

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