The letter begins:
“My Dear Wife: Two hours ago I was standing directly in front of Abraham Lincoln.”
The date was March 4, 1861, the day of Lincoln’s first inauguration. He wasn’t yet a near-saint in the popular imagination, but the new president had already awed the writer.
He was Calvin Colton Woolworth Sr. His letter recounting the inauguration was passed along by his great-great grandson Tom Smith, a Columbus police crime analyst (and a drummer for the Danger Brothers band).