North Carolina at center of Lincoln’s last dream

“While Lincoln was meeting with his cabinet [on April 14, 1865, the day before his assassination], everyone’s mind was on North Carolina, for Confederate forces were there were holding out in Raleigh, and word was awaited imminently from General Sherman, whose job it was to subdue those holdouts and bring the war formally to an end.

“Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles recorded in his diary that Lincoln was optimistic, ‘for he had last night the usual dream which he had preceding nearly every great and important event of the War.’ In the dream, Lincoln recounted, ‘he seemed to be in some singular, indescribable vessel, and that he was moving with great rapidity towards an indefinite shore.’ ‘Generally the news had been favorable which succeeded this dream,’ he declared hopefully, ‘and the dream itself was always the same….We shall, judging from the past, have great news very soon.’

“As Welles noted gloomily when he recorded this remarkable scene, ‘Great events did, indeed, follow.’ ”

— From “Lincoln and the Jews: A History” by Jonathan D. Sarna and Benjamin Shapell (2015)