Brig. Gen. Benjamin Helm

Mary Lincoln was in New York when word reached the Executive Mansion that her beloved brother-in-law Confederate General Benjamin Hardin Helm had been killed at Chickamauga.

The president sent her a telegram: “We now have a tolerably accurate summing up of the late battle between Rosecrans and Bragg. Of the killed, one Major Genl. and five Brigadiers, including your brother-in-law, Helm.”

It seemed cold, but the president could not lament the death of a Confederate general over the Union’s military telegraph system.

A friend from Illinois said he had never seen the president more moved than when he heard of the death of his 32-year-old brother-in-law.

Source: House of Abraham: Lincoln & The Todds, A Family Divided by War by Stephen Berry