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”The Sky of Our Political Horizon”

”The Sky of Our Political Horizon”

Soldiers, Civilians, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln

(p.143) 6 ”The Sky of Our Political Horizon”
Across the Divide
Steven J. Ramold
NYU Press

This chapter examines the divide between Union soldiers and Northern civilians over Abraham Lincoln's reelection bid in 1864. It first compares the Union soldiers' perspectives with those of civilians on national politics, wartime goals, and Lincoln's ability to lead the nation. It then considers the reasons for the Union soldiers' support of Lincoln over his rival, George B. McClellan, a former commander of the Union Army of the Potomac, as well as their efforts to convince the civilians at home to vote for Lincoln. It also discusses the issue of the soldiers' right to vote, their defense of Lincoln against his critics, and their own criticism of the Democratic Party. Finally, it reflects on Lincoln's election victory and how the presidential election of 1864 ended the antagonistic relationship between soldiers and civilians.

Keywords:   reelection, Union soldiers, civilians, Abraham Lincoln, national politics, George B. McClellan, right to vote, Democratic Party, presidential election

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