Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Civil War (Union)

Abraham Lincoln became the president of the United States during the most divisive period of U.S. history.

Civil War (Union) (1861 - 1865)
Conflict Period

Civil War (Union)

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Served For

United States of America

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Gold Star


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Stories about Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln’s Brothers-in-Law Fought Hard for the Confederate Cause

    Lincoln's brother-in-law Benjamin Helm served in the Confederacy, here is his Confederate Service record.
    Lincoln's brother-in-law David Todd served in the Confederate Army and applied for a pardon after the war. Here is his application from the Confederate Amnesty papers.
    David H. Todd was Lincoln's brother-in-law. Here is his Confederate Service record.
    Samuel B. Todd was Lincoln's brother-in-law. Here is his Confederate Service record.
    George R.C. Todd was Lincoln's brother-in-law and a surgeon in the Confederate Army. Here is his service record.

    Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky, as was his wife Mary Todd Lincoln. Mary’s family, however, came from wealth and education, and participated in Kentucky’s high social circles. When the Civil War broke out, her brother, half-brothers, and brothers-in-law fought for the Confederacy, despite their relation to President Lincoln.

    Mary’s brother-in-law, Benjamin Hardin Helm, was friends with President Lincoln. Lincoln offered the national post of Paymaster to Helm when the war broke out, but Benjamin sided with the Confederacy and abandoned Lincoln. Benjamin Helm led the “Orphan Brigade,” the 1st Kentucky Infantry, until he was killed at the Battle of Chickamauga on September 20, 1863. Despite Helm’s betrayal, Lincoln wept at the news of his death.

    George R.C. Todd was Mary’s only full-brother to serve in the Confederate Army. He worked as a doctor prior to the Civil War, and joined the Army as a surgeon. George worked in the field of battle until September 1863, when he was transferred to the General Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina. During his service at the hospital, George was accused of harsh treatment towards Union prisoners. In December 1864, he was placed in charge of the Wayside Hospital in Camden, South Carolina, until General Sherman passed through and burned the town in February 1865. George Todd survived the war and died in 1900.

    Samuel Briggs Todd and Alexander Todd were Mary Todd’s half-brothers from her father’s second marriage. Samuel Todd served in Company F, of the Louisiana Crescent Regiment. Samuel died during the Battle of Shiloh on April 7, 1862, from a wound in the abdomen. Alexander Todd, called “Aleck” by Mary, served in Benjamin Helm’s 1st Kentucky Calvary regiment. He was killed during the Battle of Baton Rouge on August 5, 1863. It is recorded that when Mary Lincoln heard the news of his death she cried, “Oh, little Aleck, why had you too to die!”

    David H. Todd, also Mary’s half-brother, was a captain in the 21st Louisiana Infantry and commandant of the Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. David was wounded in the Battle of Vicksburg, but survived the war. He later applied for, and was granted a presidential pardon by Andrew Johnson for his actions during the war.

    The Lincoln family did not escape the pain and division that affected so many families during the Civil War. Along with her brothers, several of Mary Todd’s sisters were married to Confederate soldiers. Abraham Lincoln was friends with these men, they were family, and yet they fought on opposite sides and died for opposing causes.





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    Additional Info
    Clio - Anyone can contribute
    27 Jan 2009
    30 Oct 2018
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