It was brutal in human life and to the national psyche.<quoted text>
And the terrible cost of that brutal war. Three quarters of a million dead. A murdered (and martyred) president and a devastated economy in many southern states that to this day have never fully recovered. Near the end of the war, there was great sentiment in the north to forgive and not punish the south politically or economically - that all changed after the assassination of Lincoln.
I too agree that, perhaps, had Lincoln lived, the South would have healed faster by focusing on reconciliation and bring an end to the bitterness engendered by war.Reconstruction would have lived up to its name. He would have had a time controlling the Radical Republicans, but being a consummate politician he would have known how to make deals and out maneuver his opponents.