Abraham Lincoln and the federal False Claims Act — Did Lincoln Really Say Everything He Said?





It is well known to most of my regular readers that Abraham Lincoln was one of the main forces behind the enactment of the federal False Claims Act during the American Civil War (also known as the War Between the States).  

Most regular readers also know that the FCA was passed during the bleakest period for the Union, in late 1862 and early 1863.  In previous posts I have discussed the problems the United States government faced with procuring goods and services during the War as told in some of the Civil War literature. 

For a variety of very sound reasons, the personage of Abraham Lincoln is inextricably interwoven with the federal False Claims Act.  And, as “Honest Abe” was also extremely quotable, there are a large number of misquotes also floating around out there.     

As the very quotable (and very misquoted) Yogi Berra once stated, “I really didn’t say everything I said.”

One such quote is the following: 

Worse than traitors in arms are the men who pretend loyalty to the flag, feast and fatten on the misfortunes of the Nation while patriotic blood is crimsoning the plains of the South and their countrymen moldering the dust.

This quote did not come from Lincoln, but rather from a report to Congress published on

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Zachary Kitts is a founding partner at K&G Law Group, PLLC, where he concentrates his practice in the areas of qui tam litigation, business torts, employment law, and other complex civil litigation matters.