The Election of 1864 Campaign Issues, Summary, Results, facts - Abraham Lincoln Vs. George McClellan - American Civil War History
The election of 1864 took place during the Civil War and featured the candidates, Republican and incumbent President Abraham Lincoln and George B. McClellan. McClellan was once the commanding general of the Union Army who Lincoln removed from command after the Battle of Antietam. Although McClellan was personally pro-war, the Democratic party wanted to negotiate a peace. A negotiated peace would ensure Union victory and end hostilities. Lincoln and the Republican party did not want to end the war through negotiations.
There was a large peace movement in the North known as the Copperheads. Copperheads wanted to end the war immediately without ensuring Union victory. They considered the war a failure. People grew tired of the huge loss of life that was incurring on the battlefields. The war was going on too long. General Ulysses S. Grant was nicknamed the Butcher. At this time, Confederates were victorious at many of recent battles, most notably the Battle of Cold Harbor. A decisive victory by Union forces was much needed to continue the war.
Lincoln's running mate and later Vice President was Andrew Johnson who was from the southern state of Tennessee. George McClellan's running mate was George Pendleton, who was antiwar.
Electoral votes were counted from 25 states none of which were southern. Lincoln won the popular vote with 400,000 votes mostly from soldiers.
Lincoln's successful reelection was ensured by the decisive Union victory at the Battle of Atlanta September 2 1864. Until the victory at the battle of Atlanta, the outcome of the Civil War was still doubtful.