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Today in history: August 22
Mid-Civil War, President Lincoln said his main goal was preserving the Union
Midway through the Civil War, Lincoln still hoped to save the Union.
Midway through the Civil War, Lincoln still hoped to save 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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