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What Charlie Tinker saw
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(This is the third part of a three part series on a visit to Charlie Tinker’s grave.) It is the summer of 1865 and, according to Charlie Tinker’s diaries, it has been a summer of oppressive heat, its airless steaminess made more miserable by the heavy sorrow that he and his colleagues have shouldered since the death of their Commander-in-Chief, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, who made several visits daily to the telegraph office where Charlie and three others deciphered frequent dispatches from the Civil War battlefields, was like a family member, especially to Charlie whom Lincoln had befriended years before when both lived in Illinois. He was the first American president to be assassinated, the shock of which stunned a nation and devastated particularly those who knew him.