Remarks in Response to a Serenade by the Ohio Delegation
GENTLEMEN: I am very much obliged to you for this compliment. I have just been saying, and will repeat it, that the hardest of all speeches I have to answer is a serenade. I never know what to say on these occasions. I suppose that you have done me this kindness in connection with the action of the Baltimore convention, which has recently taken place, and with which, of course, I am very well satisfied. [Laughter and applause.] What we want, still more than Baltimore conventions or presidential elections, is success under Gen. Grant. [Cries of "Good," and applause.] I propose that you constantly bear in mind that the support you owe to the brave officers and soldiers in the field is of the very first importance, and we should therefore bend all our energies to that point. Now, without detaining you any longer, I propose that you help me to close up what I am now saying with three rousing cheers for Gen. Grant and the officers and soldiers under his command.
New York Herald, June 10, 1864. The New York Tribune and Times printed substantially the same text. On the evening of June 9, the Ohio delegation accompanied by a brass band "waited upon the President and tendered him a serenade."
Abraham Lincoln, Remarks in Response to a Serenade by the Ohio Delegation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/342166