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Abraham Lincoln's Old Bob

One of the most defining moments in American history was the Civil War, which took place between 1861 and 1865. A bloody conflict between North and South over states' rights and the slavery of African-Americans, it claimed more than 600,000 lives and even rearranged borders before the country was finally unified under one flag.

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During the dark war years, one figure stood out like a shining beacon. Although ridiculed as a gangly frontier bumpkin, the country's 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, was a man of character and heart who sought to preserve the Constitution, end the bloodshed and ultimately, ban slavery.

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Old Bob's Breyer model

From 2011 to 2015, Americans mark the 150th anniversary, or "sesquicentennial," of the Civil War. Breyer Animal Creations commemorates the occasion with a model of Lincoln's favorite horse Robin, or, as he was affectionately known, "Old Bob." One of several mounts Lincoln owned during his lifetime, Old Bob was a reddish-brown horse who carried the future president around the Midwestern circuit during his career as a lawyer. When Lincoln departed his Illinois home to take the Oath of Office in 1861, Old Bob was left behind in Springfield.

With the long-awaited end of the war came another tragedy. Soon after the Confederate surrender to Federal forces in April, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated by Southern radical John Wilkes Booth at Washington, D.C.'s Ford Theatre. A nation that, just a week before, had rejoiced at the prospect of peace was now plunged into deep mourning. It was then that Old Bob was finally reunited with his master. Draped in traditional black, he trudged sadly behind Lincoln's hearse in the late president's funeral procession.

 

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