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Sunday, October 26, 1862.+-

Washington, DC.

Mrs. Eliza P. Gurney, wife of Joseph J. Gurney, English Quaker, holds prayer meeting in President's office. Lincoln says: "If I had had my way, this war would never have been commenced; . . . but we find it still continues; and we must believe that He permits it for some wise purpose of his own, mysterious and unknown to us." Nicolay to Bates, 26 October 1862, John G. Nicolay Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Reply to Eliza P. Gurney, 26 October 1862, CW, 5:478.

Records his thoughts on the Divine Will: "The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be wrong. God can not be for, and against the same thing at the same time. . . . By his mere quiet power, on the minds of the now contestants, He could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest. Yet the contest began. And having begun He could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds." [Lincoln did not date the original manuscript. Nicolay & Hay gives it a tentative date of September 30, 1862. CW gives it a tentative date of September 2, 1862. The date of October 26, 1862 is selected here in order to associate the document with Lincoln's interview with Mrs. Gurney of this day.] Meditation on the Divine Will, [2 September 1862], CW, 5:403-4.

"The President keeps poking sharp sticks under little Mac's ribs." Nicolay to Hay, 26 October 1862, John G. Nicolay Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

Writes Gen. McClellan: "[Gen. James E. B.] Stuart's [CSA] cavalry outmarched ours, . . . will not a movement of our army be a relief to the cavalry, . . . But I am so rejoiced to learn . . . that you begin crossing the river this morning." Abraham Lincoln to George B. McClellan, 26 October 1862, CW, 5:477.