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Black Hawk Documents Written By Abraham Lincoln Found

Last updated on Wednesday, December 7, 2011

(SPRINGFIELD, IL.) - Before his presidency and before his name became synonymous with the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln slogged his way around the state during the Black Hawk War as a volunteer Soldier with the Illinois Militia, today known as the Illinois National Guard.

Lincoln is one of 19 Presidents to serve in the National Guard, one of two from Illinois. The other is Gen. Ulysses Grant, who went on to command all Union Armies under President Lincoln.

Previously unknown Black Hawk War documents written and signed by Capt. Lincoln while on duty in 1832, and an affidavit signed by Lincoln in 1855, have recently been discovered at the National Archives in Washington, D.C and their authenticity confirmed by researchers at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill.

"Few documents survive that detail Abraham Lincoln's service as a company captain in the 4th Illinois Mounted Volunteers in the 1832 frontier disturbances collectively known as the Black Hawk War," said Daniel Stowell, editor of The Papers of Abraham Lincoln at the ALPLM.

"This discovery reminds us that many U.S. presidents, including Lincoln, answered their country's call to duty long before becoming the nation's chief executive and that service had a formative effect on their future careers," he said.

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