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4/11/2013 1:57:00 PM
Letter from Civil War addresses Lincoln mystery

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky history museum official says a letter written during the Civil War may shed light on where Abraham Lincoln’s parents lived immediately after marrying.

History scholars have debated the precise location of the couple’s cabin.

Hardin County History Museum Vice President Elvin Smith Jr .said that the facility received transcribed copies of letters written during the Civil War by a Union soldier stationed in Elizabethtown that mentions the cabin’s location.

Smith says details in one of the letters written by chaplain Augustus Hammond Conant, who served in the 19th Illinois volunteer infantry, may help unravel the mystery if Conant wasn’t mistaken.

A letter from Oct. 28, 1861, reads, “This town has about 1,500 inhabitants. It was for a time the home of President Abraham Lincoln, and the house where he lived is in sight of our camp.”

The letter then describes the location of the camp on top of a hill south of town.

Conant served in Elizabethtown for about three months in 1861 and wrote several letters to relatives about the area and activities.

Smith says he was able to obtain the letters from one of Conant’s descendants.

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