“The Great Issue of Mr. Lincoln’s Re-Election”

new york herald

December 1, 1864

Collection: The Civil War
Publication: The New York Herald
Date: December 1, 1864
Title: TheGreatIssueofMr. LincolnRe-election – Does He
TheGreatIssueofMr. LincolnRe-election – Does He
Understand It?
Is Old Abe napping? Has the drowsiness which has so long
brooded over the Navy Department extended to the White House?
Does Mr. Lincoln construe his re-election as a popular grant to
him of four years more in which to put down the rebellion, and
that accordingly he can take his time, the late necessity for
an energetic and irresistible pressure upon the rebel armies
having passed away? Is he dozing in his easy chair under this
consoling narcotic? One would think so from the present
appearance of inactivity”at Washington. Excepting
the late order assigning General Hancock to the special duty of
collecting a new corps of veteran volunteers, we have had
nothing from the national capital for some time to show that
the administration is not asleep. Even the war bulletins of
Secretary Stanton have been suspended. This will never do.
Old Abe must wake up. This is the time for action, not
idleness. Now he has the opportunity for decisive work – a
golden opportunity, which the country expects will be turned to
a good account. Thegreatissueofthe late national election
was the suppression ofthe rebellion. Mr. Lincoln has been
chosen for another term by an overwhelming popular majority,
and by a clear majority ofthe electoral votes ofthe whole
Union, rebellious States and all. The only States voting
against him were New Jersey, which is controlled by the Camden
and Amboy Regency; little Delaware, by a few hundred votes; and
Kentucky, a State which since the beginning ofthe war has been
as erratic in her movements as if guided by a drunken Bourbon
leader, brimful all the time ofthe real Old Kentucky Bourbon
whiskey. California responds to Maine, Oregon to Vermont,
Nevada to New Hampshire, in favor of Old Abe, and his heavily
increased majority in Massachusetts is almost eclipsed by his
majorities in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. And yet thegreat
personal popularity of McClellan is established in his splendid
fight in New York and Pennsylvania. In the Northeast the
results in November were foreshadowed in September; but in the
Northwest there has been a tremendous popular revolution
against the Chicago candidates, in view of Vallandigham
Chicago peace platform, and of those Northwestern treasonable
conspiracies, the “Knights ofthe Golden Circle”and the “Sons
of Liberty,”with which the copperhead leaders ofthe
democratic party were identified.
It is thus apparent that Mr. Lincoln owes his triumphant
re-election not so much to his own merits as to the Chicago
copperheads and their treasonable affiliations in the
Northwest. From the close vote of New York and Pennsylvania we
may safely assume that upon an honest and unequivocal war
platform the democracy could have elected General McClellan.
But, as between the war platform and policy ofMr. Lincoln, and
the peace-at-any- price platform and agents ofMr. Belmont
Shent-per-Shent Convention, the results which have followed
were inevitable, in spite of all the blunders, failures,
disasters, heavy taxes and high prices associated with the
administration. Besides, from the glorious victories of Grant,
Sherman, Farragut and Sheridan, the people ofthe loyal States
believed that Old Abe had turned over a new leaf, that he was
on the shortest road to peace, and that under his present
efficient officers, army and navy, he would soon bring the
rebellion to an end, if given another four years’lease of
We would respectfully call Mr. Lincolnattention to these
facts and public expectations connected with this election.
The people ofthe loyal States expect him to push on the war,
not after the old jogtrot fashion of slowly away,”but
with renewed vigor. Our national debt has risen to proportions
which are alarming, and it still increases by millions from day
to day. Our taxes, at this rate, must soon be increased to save
the Treasury from ruin; and still we can hope for no legitimate
stopping place between the price of gold and the value of
“till we can see the end ofthe war. We appeal,
then, that Mr. Lincoln, in trusting to General Grant and his
forces in the field, is not doing justice to that admirable
soldier, nor meeting the demands or expectations ofthe
country. The late election has shown, surprising as the fact
may appear in Europe, that we have more men in the loyal States
now than we had at the beginning ofthe war, and that the
people of these States are still ready to make all needful
sacrifices, in men and money, to bring the war to a speedy
close. In this sensible and practical view ofthe subject Mr.
Lincoln need not be afraid that he has exhausted the patriotism
ofthe North in his calls for soldiers. Under the present
system of liberal bounties, and in view ofthe staggering
condition ofthe rebel confederacy, he may, and we think he
should, call a once for three hundred thousand twelve months
volunteers, so that against every possible contingency we may
celebrate, with the next Fourth of July, the absolute
extinction ofthe rebellion.
We dare say, considering the present divided, weakened and
demoralized condition ofthe rebellious States, that this call
itself would be apt to decide the contest. In any event, now
is the time for the reinforcement of our armies, in order to
demolish the crippled and divided forces of Jeff. Davis before
he can concentrate them in any movement east or west.

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