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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

The Election of 1864

The Election of 1864

Tomorrow is Election Day in many parts of our great country. In light of that, perhaps we should take a look back at what was one of the most important elections in the history of the United States.

On November 8, 1864, while the nation was still embroiled in a great Civil War, more than 4 million Americans came together in cities, towns, villages and even army camps to cast their votes for the next president of the United States.

Seeking re-election, President Abraham Lincoln faced off against his former general-in-chief, George B. McClellan. While Lincoln was committed to the preservation of the Union and the extirpation of slavery from the United States, McClellan’s supporters were open to forging a peace with the South that would permanently divide the nation and allow slavery to survive.

As easy as it is in 2017 to take Lincoln’s re-election victory for granted, we must remember that things looked far less certain in 1864. The American people did not know what would happen at the polls. What they did know was that the very fate of the Union rested in their hands.

Learn more about this pivotal event in American history with these articles and videos.

1864 Election In4 

On November 8, 1864, more than 4 million Americans cast votes in one of the most consequential elections in American history. Learn about the campaign that decided the future of a nation.

Dynamism and Inertia

It wasn’t just Northern voters who recognized the significance of the 1864 election. Southern leaders, including Robert E. Lee, understood that for the Confederacy to survive, Lincoln could not be re-elected. Learn about the strategies Southern generals employed in an attempt to undermine Lincoln’s campaign.

Evidence for The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln

Lincoln may be an icon today, universally recognized as one of the great figures in American history but he did not always enjoy such an illustrious reputation.

Political Generals In4

The American Civil War was undoubtedly a political conflict, as reflected by the large number of politicians appointed to senior military positions on both sides. While “political generals” are often derided as mere incompetents, the role they played was more complex.

The Election of 1864

No election in American history surpassed that of 1864 in importance, and few equaled it. Get the inside story on one of the greatest turning points in the history of the United States.

The Civil War Trust