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13 February 2009

'Honest Abe' was Once Captain Lincoln

American Forces Press Service|by Renee Hylton

ARLINGTON, Va -- Many people know Abraham Lincoln as the 16th American president or the man who brought an end to slavery. But not many know of his military service.

Abraham Lincoln, who is considered by many historians and political scientists to be the greatest U.S. president, was born 200 years ago yesterday in a one-room Kentucky log cabin.

In 1832, he served in the Illinois militia for three months during the Black Hawk War.

Lincoln, known for his humor and willingness to poke fun at himself, downplayed his military service. He once declared in a congressional debate: "I fought, bled, and came away. ... I had a good many bloody struggles with the mosquitoes."

In addition to serving as a private, Lincoln also was elected company commander. During this time, many militia companies elected their officers.

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