Across Five Aprils

by Irene Hunt

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Write about Presidential Election in Chapter 11 of Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt.

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The Presidential election of 1864 occurred during a difficult time for the North.  The Union Army had suffered a devastating series of setbacks, the public was weary of war, and there was no resolution in sight.  Abraham Lincoln had been nominated for reelection despite the fact that many in his party hated him; many felt that he had no chance of winning, especially as bad news from battlefields around the country continued to pour in.

In August of 1864, George B. McClellan was chosen by the Democratic party to run against Lincoln.  In accepting the nomination, McClellan made it clear that

"as far as he was concerned, the party's platform meant that the North was not to offer peace on any terms short of the reestablishment of the Union, that to accept anything else would be an insult and an affront to the thousands of soldiers who had died in battle".

Soon after the nominees had been determined, the tenor of news from the battlefields changed, with the North winning a series of decisive victories in Alabama, Georgia, and other fronts.  Still weary of war, but with renewed hope that "the prize was almost within its grasp", the North went to the polls in November and reelected Abraham Lincoln.  Lincoln received "the preponderance of the soldier vote, and all the Northern states except Kentucky, Delaware, and New Jersey".  Although the electoral votes in Illinois, Lincoln's home state and the state where the Creightons lived, went to Mr. Lincoln in the end, southern Illinois actually "gave a plurality of its votes to General Geroge B. McClellan" (Chapter 11).

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