Before Dusk/Dance With Me

Mary Lincoln is at the Depot Field Hospital in Virginia, comforting soldiers. A Military band is present on this day with the knowledge that Mary Lincoln is attending, all of them in hopes to lift the morale and spirit of the wounded soldiers. While the music is playing however, she is drawn to a young man laying down, further away from the music. She walks away from the band to speak to the young man. This soldier is ill from the disease typhoid- the same disease her son Willie died of months prior. A few days before Willie’s death, Mary and Abraham hosted a “lavish reception,” in which their guests could converse and dance. During this party, Willie was falling more ill and moaning in pain. Abraham forbade the guests from dancing for the rest of the night, worried for Willie and Mary, who was running back and forth to check on him.