Army of Northern Virginia: February to September 1862

Unconditional Surrender U. S. Grant

What happened to Willie Lincoln?

Named for the Scottish hero William Wallace, William Lincoln was the apple of his father’s eye. For reasons that remain mysterious, Lincoln had a cool relationship with his eldest son, Robert, and a very affectionate one with Willie. Just as General George B. McClellan recovered from typhoid fever, Willie Lincoln came down with it.

Abraham and Mary Lincoln were many things, and they had a rather difficult marriage, but one thing they agreed on was abundant love for their children. The couple was devastated by Willie’s death, which took place on February 20, 1862. His was the first death of a child in the White House.


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