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Wednesday, August 26, 1863.+-

Washington, DC.

President Lincoln writes to James C. Conkling, of Springfield, Illinois, and declines an invitation to speak on September 3 at a "mass-meeting of unconditional Union-men." Lincoln acknowledges that he has detractors who "blame" him for prolonging the war. Lincoln responds, "To such I would say: you desire peace . . . But how can we attain it? . . . If you are not for force, nor yet for dissolution, there only remains some imaginable compromise. I do not believe any compromise, embracing the maintenance of the Union, is now possible. All I learn, leads to a directly opposite belief. The strength of the rebellion, is its military—its army." Abraham Lincoln to James C. Conkling, 26 August 1863, CW, 6:406-10.