Remarks to the 12th Indiana Regiment
SOLDIERS, OF THE TWELFTH INDIANA REGIMENT:
It has not been customary heretofore, nor will it be hereafter, for me to say something to every regiment passing in review. It occurs too frequently for me to have speeches ready on all occasions. As you have paid such a mark of respect to the chief magistrate, it appears that I should say a word or two in reply. Your colonel has thought fit, on his own account and in your name, to say that you are satisfied with the manner in which I have performed my part in the difficulties which have surrounded the nation. For your kind expressions I am extremely grateful, but on the other hand I assure you that the nation is more indebted to you, and such as you, than to me. It is upon the brave hearts and strong arms of the people of the country that our reliance has been placed in support of free government and free institutions.
For the part which you and the brave army of which you are a part have, under Providence, performed in this great struggle, I tender more thanks especially to this regiment, which has been the subject of good report. The thanks of the nation will follow you, and may God's blessing rest upon you now and forever. I hope that upon your return to your homes you will find your friends and loved ones well and happy. I bid you farewell.
Note: The exact date of these remarks is uncertain.
Abraham Lincoln, Remarks to the 12th Indiana Regiment Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/268247