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Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 untilhis assassination in 1865. He led the country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis — the American Civil War — preserving the Union while ending slavery and promoting economic and financial modernization. Sony VGP-BPL13 Battery

Reared in a poor family on the western frontier, Lincoln was mostly self-educated. He became a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, and a one-term member of the United States House of Representatives, but failed in two attempts at a seat in the United States Senate. Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery

He was an affectionate, though often absent, husband and father of four children.

After deftly opposing the expansion of slavery in the United States in his campaign debates and speeches, Lincoln secured the Republican nomination and was elected president in 1860.Sony VGP-BPS13/B Battery

Following declarations of secession by southern slave states, war began in April 1861, and he concentrated on both the military and political dimensions of the war effort, seeking to reunify the nation. He vigorously exercised unprecedented war powers, including the arrest and detention without trial of thousands of suspected secessionists. Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery

He prevented British recognition of the Confederacy by skillfully handling the Trent affair late in 1861. He issued his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoted the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, abolishing slavery.Sony VGP-BPS13A/B Battery

Lincoln closely supervised the war effort, especially the selection of top generals, including the commanding general Ulysses S. Grant. He brought leaders of various factions of his party into his cabinet and pressured them to cooperate. Under his leadership, the Union took control of the border slave states at the start of the war and tried repeatedly to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond.Sony VGP-BPS13A/S Battery

Each time a general failed, Lincoln substituted another until finally Grant succeeded in 1865. An exceptionally astute politician deeply involved with power issues in each state, he reached out to War Democrats and managed his own re-election in the 1864 presidential election.Sony VGP-BPS13AS Battery

As the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican party, Lincoln came under attack from all sides. Radical Republicans wanted harsher treatment of the South, War Democrats desired more compromise, and Copperheads despised him—not to mention irreconcilable secessionists in reconquered areas.Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

Politically Lincoln fought back with patronage, by pitting his opponents against each other, and by appealing to the American people with his powers of oratory. His Gettysburg Address of 1863 became the most quoted speech in American history. It was an iconic statement of America's dedication to the principles of nationalism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy.Sony VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery

At the close of the war, Lincoln held a moderate view of Reconstruction, seeking to speedily reunite the nation through a policy of generous reconciliation in the face of lingering and bitter divisiveness. However, just six days after the surrender of Confederate commanding general Robert E. Lee, Sony VGP-BPS13B/S Battery

Lincoln was shot and killed by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. His death marked the first assassination of a U.S. president. Lincoln has been consistently ranked by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. presidents.Sony VGP-BPS13Q Battery

Early life

Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, the second child of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Lincoln (née Hanks), in a one-room log cabin on the Sinking Spring Farm in southeast Hardin County, Kentucky,[5] (now LaRue County).Sony VGP-BPS13S Battery

Historical investigations have traced Lincoln's paternal ancestors back to Samuel Lincoln, an apprentice weaver who arrived in Hingham, Massachusetts, from Norfolk, England, in 1637.[6][7] However, Lincoln only knew of his heritage to his paternal grandfather and namesake, Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11EN Battery

Abraham Lincoln, a militia captain and landholder who had inherited a 200-acre (81 ha) estate in Rockingham County, Virginia.The elder Abraham later moved his family from Virginia to Jefferson County, Kentucky, where he was ambushed and killed in an Indian raid in 1786, with his children Mordecai, Josiah, and Lincoln's father Thomas, looking on.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11MN Battery

As the eldest son, by law Mordecai inherited his father's entire estate, leaving Thomas to make his own way. Lincoln's mother, Nancy, was the daughter of Lucy Hanks, and was born in what is now Mineral County, West Virginia, then part of Virginia. Lucy moved with her daughter to Kentucky, following her sister Elizabeth Hanks Sparrow and her husband Thomas. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11XN Battery

Lucy Hanks married Henry Sparrow, Thomas' brother. Soon after that, she placed Nancy with her sister, Elizabeth, and Thomas, who essentially reared her.[11]

In Kentucky, Nancy Hanks married Thomas Lincoln, who became a respected citizen of his rural area. He bought and sold several farms, including the Sinking Spring Farm. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ12VN Battery

The family attended aSeparate Baptists church, which had high moral standards and opposed alcohol, dancing, and slavery.[12] As an adult, Thomas never formally joined a church. Thomas enjoyed considerable status in Kentucky — where he sat on juries, appraised estates, served on country slave patrols, and guarded prisoners. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ12XN Battery

By the time his son Abraham was born, Thomas owned two 600-acre (240 ha) farms, several town lots, livestock, and horses. He was among the richest men in the county. In 1816, the Lincoln family lost everything; they were stripped of all their lands in court cases because of a faulty title.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ31VT Battery

The family moved north across the Ohio River to free territory and made a new start in Perry County, Indiana, (now in Spencer County). Lincoln later noted that this move was "partly on account of slavery" but mainly due to land title difficulties.[14] In Indiana, when Lincoln was nine, his 34-year-old mother Nancy died of milk sickness in 1818.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ31XT Battery

Her aunt Elizabeth and uncle Thomas Sparrow, who had followed the Lincolns to Little Pigeon Creek, also died of milk sickness.[11]They are each buried at what is now the Nancy Hanks Lincoln Cemetery,[16] located on the grounds of Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial inLincoln City, Indiana.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560 Battery

After the death of Lincoln's mother, his older sister, Sarah, took charge of caring for him until their father remarried in 1819. Thomas Lincoln's new wife was the widow Sarah Bush Johnston, the mother of three of her own children. Lincoln became very close to his stepmother, and took to calling her "Mother".Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N24 Battery

As he grew older, Lincoln became increasingly distant from his father. He regretted his father's lack of education and did not like the hard labor associated with frontier life. Still, he willingly took responsibility for all chores expected of him as one of the boys in the household and became an adept axeman in his work building rail fences. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N30 Battery

Lincoln also agreed with the customary obligation of a son to give his father all earnings from work done outside the home until age 21.[15] In later years, Lincoln occasionally loaned his father money.[18] Lincoln's sister, Sarah, died in her 20s while giving birth to a stillborn son.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P Battery

In 1830, fearing a milk sickness outbreak along the Ohio River, the Lincoln family moved west, where they settled on public land in Macon County, Illinois.[19]In 1831, Thomas relocated the family to a new homestead in Coles County, Illinois. It was then that as an ambitious 22-year-old, Lincoln decided to seek a better life and struck out on his own.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P20 Battery

Canoeing down the Sangamon River, Lincoln ended up in the village of New Salem in Sangamon County.[20] In the spring of 1831, hired by New Salem businessman Denton Offutt and accompanied by friends, he took goods by flatboat from New Salem to New Orleans via the Sangamon, Illinois, and Mississippi rivers. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P22 Battery

After arriving in New Orleans—and witnessing slavery firsthand—he walked back home.

Lincoln's formal education consisted of approximately 18 months of classes from several itinerant teachers; he was mostly self-educated and was an avid reader.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P28 Battery

He attained a reputation for brawn and audacity after a very competitive wrestling match to which he was challenged by the renowned leader of a group of ruffians, "the Clary's Grove boys".[23] Some in his family, and in the neighborhood, considered him to be lazy.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P30 Battery

Lincoln avoided hunting and fishing out of an aversion to killing animals.

Marriage and family

Lincoln's first romantic interest was Ann Rutledge, whom he met when he first moved to New Salem; by 1835, they were in a relationship but not formally engaged. She died, however, on August 25, most likely of typhoid fever.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P34 Battery

In the early 1830s, he met Mary Owens from Kentucky when she was visiting her sister. Late in 1836, Lincoln agreed to a match with Mary if she returned to New Salem. Mary did return in November 1836, and Lincoln courted her for a time; however, they both had second thoughts about their relationship. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561 Battery

On August 16, 1837, Lincoln wrote Mary a letter suggesting he would not blame her if she ended the relationship. She never replied and the courtship was over.[28]

In 1840, Lincoln became engaged to Mary Todd, who was from a wealthy slave-holding family in Lexington, Kentucky.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561N20 Battery

They met inSpringfield, Illinois, in December 1839[30] and were engaged the following December.[31] A wedding was set for January 1, 1841, but the couple split as the wedding approached.[30] They later met at a party and then married on November 4, 1842, in the Springfield mansion of Mary's married sister.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561P20 Battery

While preparing for the nuptials and feeling reluctance again, Lincoln, when asked where he was going, replied, "To hell, I suppose."[33]

In 1844, the couple bought a house in Springfield near Lincoln's law office.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ562P Battery

Mary Todd Lincoln worked diligently in their home, assuming household duties which had been performed for her in her own family. She also made efficient use of the limited funds available from her husband's law practice. One evening, Mary asked Lincoln four times to restart the fire and, getting no reaction as he was absorbed in his reading,Sony VAIO VGN-BZ563P Battery

she grabbed a piece of firewood and rapped him on the head.[36] The Lincolns had a budding family with the birth of Robert Todd Lincoln in 1843 and Edward Baker Lincoln in 1846. Lincoln, according to those familiar with the family, "was remarkably fond of children",[37] and the Lincolns were not thought to be strict with their children.Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAFS Battery

Robert was the only child of the Lincolns to live past the age of 18. Edward Lincoln died on February 1, 1850, in Springfield, likely of tuberculosis.[39] The Lincolns' grief over this loss was somewhat assuaged by the birth of "Willie" Lincoln nearly 11 months later, on December 21. Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAHS Battery

However, Willie died of a fever at the age of 11 on February 20, 1862, in Washington, D.C., during President Lincoln's first term.[40]The Lincolns' fourth son, Thomas "Tad" Lincoln, was born on April 4, 1853, and outlived his father, but died of heart failure at the age of 18 on July 16, 1871, in Chicago.Sony VAIO VGN-BZAANS Battery

The death of their sons had profound effects on both parents. Later in life, Mary struggled with the stresses of losing her husband and sons, and Robert Lincoln committed her temporarily to a mental health asylum in 1875. Abraham Lincoln suffered from "melancholy", a condition which now may be referred to as clinical depression.Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAPS Battery

Lincoln's father-in-law was based in Lexington, Kentucky; he and others of the Todd family were either slave owners or slave traders. Lincoln was close to the Todds, and he and his family occasionally visited the Todd estate in Lexington; Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/Q Battery

Lincoln's connections in Lexington could have effectuated his ambitions, but he remained in Illinois, where, to his liking, slavery was almost nonexistent.

Early career and militia service

In 1832, at age 23, Lincoln and a partner bought a small general store on credit in New Salem, Illinois. Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/R Battery

Although the economy was booming in the region, the business struggled and Lincoln eventually sold his share. That March he began his political career with his first campaign for the Illinois General Assembly. He had attained local popularity and could draw crowds as a natural raconteur in New Salem, Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/W Battery

though he lacked an education, powerful friends, and money, which may be why he lost. He advocated navigational improvements on the Sangamon River.

Before the election Lincoln served as a captain in the Illinois Militia during the Black Hawk War.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/P Battery

Following his return, Lincoln continued his campaign for the August 6 election for the Illinois General Assembly. At 6 feet 4 inches (193 cm), he was tall and "strong enough to intimidate any rival". At his first speech, when he saw a supporter in the crowd being attacked, Lincoln grabbed the assailant by his "neck and the seat of his trousers" and threw him.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/Q Battery

Lincoln finished eighth out of thirteen candidates (the top four were elected), though he received 277 of the 300 votes cast in the New Salem precinct.

Lincoln served as New Salem's postmaster and later as county surveyor, all the while reading voraciously. Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/W Battery

He then decided to become a lawyer and began teaching himself law by reading Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of Englandand other law books. Of his learning method, Lincoln stated: "I studied with nobody".[49] His second campaign in 1834 was successful.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11Z/R Battery

He won election to the state legislature; though he ran as a Whig, many Democrats favored him over a more powerful Whig opponent.[50]Admitted to the bar in 1836,[51] he moved to Springfield, Illinois, and began to practice law under John T. Stuart, Mary Todd's cousin.Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/P Battery

Lincoln became an able and successful lawyer with a reputation as a formidable adversary during cross-examinations and closing arguments. In 1841, he partnered with Stephen T. Logan until 1844, when he began his practice with William Herndon, whom Lincoln thought "a studious young man".Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/Q Battery

He served four successive terms in the Illinois House of Representatives as a Whig representative from Sangamon County.

In the 1835–1836 legislative session, he voted to expand suffrage to white males, whether landowners or not. Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/R Battery

He was known for his "free soil" stance of opposing both slavery and abolitionism. He first articulated this in 1837, saying, "Institution of slavery is founded on both injustice and bad policy, but the promulgation of abolition doctrines tends rather to increase than abate its evils."Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTB Battery

He closely followed Henry Clay in supporting the American Colonization Society program of making the abolition of slavery practical by helping the freed slaves to settle inLiberia in Africa.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTP Battery

Congressman Lincoln

From the early 1830s, Lincoln was a steadfast Whig and professed to friends in 1861 to be, "an old line Whig, a disciple of Henry Clay".[58] The party, including Lincoln, favored economic modernization in banking, railroads, and internal improvements and espoused urbanization as well as protective tariffs.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTQ Battery

In 1846, Lincoln was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served one two-year term. He was the only Whig in the Illinois delegation, but he showed his party loyalty by participating in almost all votes and making speeches that echoed the party line.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTR Battery

Lincoln, in collaboration with abolitionist Congressman Joshua R. Giddings, wrote a bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia with compensation for the owners, enforcement to capture fugitive slaves, and a popular vote on the matter. He abandoned the bill when it failed to garner sufficient Whig supporters.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTW Battery

Lincoln also spoke out against the Mexican–American War, which he attributed to President Polk's desire for "military glory—that attractive rainbow, that rises in showers of blood".

Lincoln emphasized his opposition to Polk by drafting and introducing his Spot Resolutions. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAB Battery

The war had begun with a Mexican slaughter of American soldiers in territory disputed by Mexico and the US; Polk insisted that Mexican soldiers had "invaded our territory and shed the blood of our fellow-citizens on our own soil". Lincoln demanded that Polk show Congress the exact spot on which blood had been shed and prove that the spot was on American soil.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAC Battery

Congress never enacted the resolution or even debated it, the national papers ignored it, and it resulted in a loss of political support for Lincoln in his district. One Illinois newspaper derisively nicknamed him "spotty Lincoln". Lincoln later regretted some of his statements, especially his attack on the presidential war-making powers.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAD Battery

Realizing Clay was unlikely to win the presidency, Lincoln, who had pledged in 1846 to serve only one term in the House, supported General Zachary Taylor for the Whig nomination in the 1848 presidential election. Taylor won and Lincoln hoped to be appointed Commissioner of the General Land Office,Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NBB Battery

but that lucrative patronage job went to an Illinois rival, Justin Butterfield, considered by the administration to be a highly skilled lawyer, but in Lincoln's view, an "old fossil".The administration offered him the consolation prize of secretary or governor of the Oregon Territory. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCA Battery

This distant territory was a Democratic stronghold, and acceptance of the post would have effectively ended his legal and political career in Illinois, so he declined and resumed his law practice.

Prairie lawyer

Lincoln returned to practicing law in Springfield, handling "every kind of business that could come before a prairie lawyer".Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCB Battery

Twice a year for sixteen years, ten weeks at a time, he appeared in county seats in the midstate region when the county courts were in session. Lincoln handled many transportation cases in the midst of the nation's western expansion, particularly the conflicts arising from the operation of river barges under the many new railroad bridges.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCC Battery

As a riverboat man, Lincoln initially favored those interests but ultimately represented whoever hired him. His reputation grew, and he appeared before the Supreme Court of the United States, arguing a case involving a canal boat that sank after hitting a bridge.Sony VAIO VGN-CS50B/W Battery

In 1849, he received a patent for a flotation device for the movement of boats in shallow water. The idea was never commercialized, but Lincoln is the only president to hold a patent.

In 1851, he represented Alton & Sangamon Railroad in a dispute with one of its shareholders, James A. Barret, Sony VAIO VGN-CS51B/W Battery

who had refused to pay the balance on his pledge to buy shares in the railroad on the grounds that the company had changed its original train route. Lincoln successfully argued that the railroad company was not bound by its original charter in existence at the time of Barret's pledge;Sony VAIO VGN-CS52JB/W Battery

the charter was amended in the public interest to provide a newer, superior, and less expensive route, and the corporation retained the right to demand Barret's payment. The decision by the Illinois Supreme Court has been cited by numerous other courts in the nation.Sony VAIO VGN-CS60B/P Battery

Lincoln appeared before the Illinois Supreme Court in 175 cases, in 51 as sole counsel, of which 31 were decided in his favor. From 1853 to 1860, another of Lincoln's largest clients was the Illinois Central Railroad.

Lincoln's most notable criminal trial occurred in 1858 when he defended William "Duff" Armstrong, who was on trial for the murder of James Preston Metzker.Sony VAIO VGN-CS60B/Q Battery

The case is famous for Lincoln's use of a fact established by judicial notice in order to challenge the credibility of an eyewitness. After an opposing witness testified seeing the crime in the moonlight, Lincoln produced a Farmers' Almanac showing the moon was at a low angle, drastically reducing visibility. Sony VAIO VGN-CS60B/R Battery

Based on this evidence, Armstrong was acquitted. Lincoln rarely raised objections in the courtroom; but in an 1859 case, where he defended a cousin Peachy Harrison, who was accused of stabbing another to death, Lincoln angrily protested the judge's decision to exclude evidence favorable to his client.Sony VAIO VGN-CS61B/P Battery

Instead of holding Lincoln in contempt of court as was expected, the judge, a Democrat, reversed his ruling, allowing the evidence and acquitting Harrison.

Slavery and a "House Divided"

Lincoln returned to politics to oppose the pro-slavery Kansas–Nebraska Act (1854); this law repealed the slavery-restricting Missouri Compromise (1820). Sony VAIO VGN-CS61B/Q Battery

Senior Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois had incorporated popular sovereignty into the Act. Douglas' provision, which Lincoln opposed, specified the people have the right to determine locally whether to allow slavery in their territory rather than have such a decision imposed on them by the national Congress.Sony VAIO VGN-CS61B/R Battery

Foner (2010) contrasts the abolitionists and anti-slavery Radical Republicans of the Northeast who saw slavery a sin, with the conservative Republicans who thought it was bad because it hurt white people and blocked progress. Foner argues that Lincoln was a moderate in the middle, Sony VAIO VGN-CS62JB/P Battery

opposing slavery primarily because it violated the republicanism principles of the Founding Fathers, especially the equality of all men and democratic self-government as expressed in the Declaration of Independence.

On October 16, 1854, in his "Peoria Speech", Lincoln declared his opposition to slavery, which he repeated en route to the presidency.Sony VAIO VGN-CS62JB/Q Battery

Speaking in his Kentucky accent, with a very powerful voice, he said the Kansas Act had a "declared indifference, but as I must think, a covert real zeal for the spread of slavery. I cannot but hate it. I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world..."Sony VAIO VGN-CS62JB/R Battery

In late 1854, Lincoln ran as a Whig for the U.S. Senate seat from Illinois. At that time, senators were elected by the state legislature.After leading in the first six rounds of voting in the Illinois assembly, his support began to dwindle, and Lincoln instructed his backers to vote for Lyman Trumbull, who defeated opponent Joel Aldrich Matteson.Sony VAIO VGN-CS71B/W Battery

The Whigs had been irreparably split by the Kansas–Nebraska Act. Lincoln wrote, "I think I am a Whig, but others say there are no Whigs, and that I am an abolitionist, even though I do no more than oppose the extension of slavery." Drawing on remnants of the old Whig party, and on disenchanted Free Soil, Sony VAIO VGN-CS72JB/W Battery

Liberty, and Democratic party members, he was instrumental in forging the shape of the new Republican Party.[91] At the Republican convention in 1856, Lincoln placed second in the contest to become the party's candidate for vice president.Sony VAIO VGN-CS90HS Battery

In 1857–58, Douglas broke with President Buchanan, leading to a fight for control of the Democratic Party. Some eastern Republicans even favored the reelection of Douglas for the Senate in 1858, since he had led the opposition to the Lecompton Constitution, which would have admitted Kansas as a slave state.Sony VAIO VGN-CS90NS Battery

In March 1857, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford; Chief Justice Roger B. Taney opined that blacks were not citizens, and derived no rights from the Constitution. Lincoln denounced the decision, alleging it was the product of a conspiracy of Democrats to support the Slave Power Lincoln argued, Sony VAIO VGN-CS90S Battery

"The authors of the Declaration of Independence never intended 'to say all were equal in color, size, intellect, moral developments, or social capacity', but they 'did consider all men created equal—equal in certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness'."Sony VAIO VGN-CS91HS Battery

After the state Republican party convention nominated him for the U.S. Senate in 1858, Lincoln delivered his House Divided Speech, drawing on Mark's gospel from the Bible: "A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. Sony VAIO VGN-CS91NS Battery

I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other." The speech created an evocative image of the danger of disunion caused by the slavery debate, and rallied Republicans across the North.Sony VAIO VGN-CS91S Battery

The stage was then set for the campaign for statewide election of the Illinois legislature which would, in turn, select Lincoln or Douglas as its U.S. senator.

Lincoln–Douglas debates and Cooper Union speech

The 1858 senate campaign featured the seven Lincoln–Douglas debates of 1858, the most famous political debates in American history.Sony VAIO VGN-CS92DS Battery

The principals stood in stark contrast both physically and politically. Lincoln warned that "The Slave Power" was threatening the values of republicanism, and accused Douglas of distorting the values of the Founding Fathers that all men are created equal, while Douglas emphasized his Freeport Doctrine,Sony VAIO VGN-CS92JS Battery

that local settlers were free to choose whether to allow slavery or not, and accused Lincoln of having joined the abolitionists. The debates had an atmosphere of a prize fight and drew crowds in the thousands. Lincoln stated Douglas's popular sovereignty theory was a threat to the nation's morality and that Douglas represented a conspiracy to extend slavery to free states. Sony VAIO VGN-CS92XS Battery

Douglas said that Lincoln was defying the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Dred Scott decision.

Though the Republican legislative candidates won more popular votes, the Democrats won more seats, and the legislature re-elected Douglas to the Senate.Sony VAIO VGN-FW11E Battery

Despite the bitterness of the defeat for Lincoln, his articulation of the issues gave him a national political reputation.In May 1859, Lincoln purchased the Illinois Staats-Anzeiger, a German-language newspaper which was consistently supportive; most of the state's 130,000 Sony VAIO VGN-FW11L Battery

German Americans voted Democratic but there was Republican support that a German-language paper could mobilize.

On February 27, 1860, New York party leaders invited Lincoln to give a speech at Cooper Union to a group of powerful Republicans.Sony VAIO VGN-FW11M Battery

Lincoln argued that the Founding Fathers had little use for popular sovereignty and had repeatedly sought to restrict slavery. Lincoln insisted the moral foundation of the Republicans required opposition to slavery, and rejected any "groping for some middle ground between the right and the wrong".Sony VAIO VGN-FW11S Battery

Despite his inelegant appearance—many in the audience thought him awkward and even ugly —Lincoln demonstrated an intellectual leadership that brought him into the front ranks of the party and into contention for the Republican presidential nomination. Journalist Noah Brooks reported, Sony VAIO VGN-FW11ZU Battery

"No man ever before made such an impression on his first appeal to a New York audience." Donald described the speech as a "superb political move for an unannounced candidate, to appear in one rival's (William H. Seward) own state at an event sponsored by the second rival's (Salmon P. Chase) loyalists, while not mentioning either by name during its delivery."Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E/H Battery

In response to an inquiry about his presidential intentions, Lincoln said, "The taste is in my mouth a little."

1860 Presidential nomination and election

On May 9–10, 1860, the Illinois Republican State Convention was held in Decatur. Sony VAIO VGN-FW140AE Battery

Lincoln's followers organized a campaign team led by David Davis,Norman Judd, Leonard Swett, and Jesse DuBois, and Lincoln received his first endorsement to run for the presidency. Exploiting the embellished legend of his frontier days with his father, Lincoln's supporters adopted the label of "The Rail Candidate".Sony VAIO VGN-FW140D Battery

On May 18, at the 1860 Republican National Conventionin Chicago, Lincoln's friends promised and manipulated and won the nomination on the third ballot, beating candidates such as William H. Seward and Salmon P. Chase. A former Democrat Hannibal Hamlin of Maine was nominated for Vice President to balance the ticket. Sony VAIO VGN-FW140E Battery

Lincoln's success depended on his reputation as a moderate on the slavery issue, and his strong support for Whiggish programs of internal improvements and the protective tariff. On the third ballot Pennsylvania put him over the top. Pennsylvania iron interests were reassured by his support for protective tariffs.Sony VAIO VGN-FW140E/H Battery

Lincoln's managers had been adroitly focused on this delegation as well as the others, while following Lincoln's strong dictate to "Make no contracts that bind me".

Most Republicans agreed with Lincoln that the North was the aggrieved party, as the Slave Power tightened its grasp on the national government with theDred Scott decision and the presidency of James Buchanan. Sony VAIO VGN-FW140E/W Battery

Throughout the 1850s, Lincoln doubted the prospects of civil war, and his supporters rejected claims that his election would incite secession. Meanwhile, Douglas was selected as the candidate of the Northern Democrats, with Herschel Vespasian Johnson as the vice-presidential candidate. Sony VAIO VGN-FW140FE Battery

Delegates from 11 slave states walked out of the Democratic convention, disagreeing with Douglas's position on popular sovereignty, and ultimately selected John C. Breckinridge as their candidate.

As Douglas and the other candidates went through with their campaigns, Lincoln was the only one of them who gave no speeches.Sony VAIO VGN-FW140N Battery

Instead, he monitored the campaign closely and relied on the enthusiasm of the Republican Party. The party did the leg work that produced majorities across the North, and produced an abundance of campaign posters, leaflets, and newspaper editorials. Sony VAIO VGN-FW140N/W Battery

There were thousands of Republican speakers who focused first on the party platform, and second on Lincoln's life story, emphasizing his childhood poverty. The goal was to demonstrate the superior power of "free labor", whereby a common farm boy could work his way to the top by his own efforts.Sony VAIO VGN-FW145E Battery

The Republican Party's production of campaign literature dwarfed the combined opposition; a Chicago Tribune writer produced a pamphlet that detailed Lincoln's life, and sold one million copies.

1860 election and secession

On November 6, 1860, Lincoln was elected the sixteenth president of the United States, beating Democrat Stephen A. Sony VAIO VGN-FW145E/W Battery

Douglas, John C. Breckinridge of the Southern Democrats, and John Bell of the new Constitutional Union Party. He was the first president from the Republican Party. Winning entirely on the strength of his support in the North and West, no ballots were cast for him in ten of the fifteen Southern slave states, and he won only two of 996 counties in all the Southern states.Sony VAIO VGN-FW160AE Battery

Lincoln received 1,866,452 votes, Douglas 1,376,957 votes, Breckinridge 849,781 votes, and Bell 588,789 votes. Turnout was 82.2 percent, with Lincoln winning the free Northern states, as well as California and Oregon. Douglas won Missouri, and split New Jersey with Lincoln.Sony VAIO VGN-FW160D Battery

Bell won Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky, and Breckinridge won the rest of the South. The States' Electoral votes were decisive: Lincoln had 180 and his opponents added together had only 123. There were fusion tickets in which all of Lincoln's o

pponents combined to support the same slate of Electors in New York,Sony VAIO VGN-FW160E Battery

New Jersey, and Rhode Island, but even if the anti-Lincoln vote had been combined in every state, Lincoln still would have won a majority in the Electoral College.

As Lincoln's election became evident, secessionists made clear their intent to leave the Union before he took office the next March.Sony VAIO VGN-FW160E/H Battery

On December 20, 1860, South Carolina took the lead by adopting an ordinance of secession; by February 1, 1861, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas followed. Six of these states then adopted a constitution and declared themselves to be a sovereign nation, the Confederate States of America.Sony VAIO VGN-FW170J/H Battery

The upper South and border states (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Arkansas) listened to, but initially rejected, the secessionist appeal. President Buchanan and President-elect Lincoln refused to recognize the Confederacy, declaring secession illegal.Sony VAIO VGN-FW180AE Battery

The Confederacy selected Jefferson Davis as their provisional President on February 9, 1861.

There were attempts at compromise. The Crittenden Compromise would have extended the Missouri Compromise line of 1820, dividing the territories into slave and free, contrary to the Republican Party's free-soil platform.Sony VAIO VGN-FW180D Battery

Lincoln rejected the idea, saying, "I will suffer death before I consent ... to any concession or compromise which looks like buying the privilege to take possession of this government to which we have a constitutional right." Lincoln, however, did support the Corwin Amendment to the Constitution, Sony VAIO VGN-FW180E Battery

which had passed in Congress and protected slavery in those states where it already existed. A few weeks before the war, he went so far as to pen a letter to every governor asking for their support in ratifying the Corwin Amendment as a means to avoid secession.Sony VAIO VGN-FW180E/H Battery

En route to his inauguration by train, Lincoln addressed crowds and legislatures across the North. The president-elect then evaded possible assassins in Baltimore, who were uncovered by Lincoln's head of security, Allan Pinkerton. On February 23, 1861, he arrived in disguise in Washington, D.C., which was placed under substantial military guard.Sony VAIO VGN-FW180FU Battery

Lincoln directed his inaugural speech to the South, saying, "We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies ... The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, Sony VAIO VGN-FW190EBH Battery

will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."[135] The failure of the Peace Conference of 1861 signaled that legislative compromise was implausible. By March 1861, no leaders of the insurrection had proposed rejoining the Union on any terms. Sony VAIO VGN-FW190ECH Battery

Meanwhile, Lincoln and nearly every Republican leader agreed that the dismantling of the Union could not be tolerated.

War begins

The commander of Fort Sumter, South Carolina, Major Anderson sent a request for provisions to Washington, and the execution of Lincoln's order to meet that request was seen by the secessionists as an act of war.Sony VAIO VGN-FW190EDH Battery

On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces fired on Union troops at Fort Sumter, forced them to surrender, and began the war.Historian Allan Nevins argued that the newly inaugurated Lincoln miscalculated in believing that he could preserve the Union,and William Tecumseh Sherman, Sony VAIO VGN-FW190NAH Battery

then a civilian, visited Lincoln in the White House during inauguration week and was "sadly disappointed" at Lincoln's seeming failure to realize that "the country was sleeping on a volcano" and that the South was preparing for war. Donald concludes that, "His repeated efforts to avoid collision in the months between inauguration and the firing on Ft. Sony VAIO VGN-FW190NBH Battery

Sumter showed he adhered to his vow not to be the first to shed fraternal blood. But he also vowed not to surrender the forts. The only resolution of these contradictory positions was for the confederates to fire the first shot; they did just that." Sony VAIO VGN-FW190NCH Battery

On April 15, Lincoln called on the states to send detachments totaling 75,000 troops to recapture forts, protect the capital, and "preserve the Union", which, in his view, still existed intact despite the actions of the seceding states. This call forced the states to choose sides. Sony VAIO VGN-FW190NDH Battery

Virginia declared its secession and was rewarded with the Confederate capital, despite the exposed position of Richmond so close to Union lines. North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas also voted for secession over the next two months. Secession sentiment was strong in Missouri and Maryland, but did not prevail; Kentucky tried to be neutral.Sony VAIO VGN-FW190NEH Battery

Troops headed south towards Washington, to protect the capital in response to Lincoln's call. On April 19, secessionist mobs in Baltimore that controlled the rail links attacked Union troops traveling to the capital. George William Brown, the Mayor of Baltimore, and other suspect Maryland politicians were arrested and imprisoned as Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus.Sony VAIO VGN-FW198U/H Battery

John Merryman, a leader in the secessionist group in Maryland, petitioned Chief Justice Roger Taney to issue a writ of habeas corpus, saying Lincoln's action of holding Merryman without a hearing was unlawful. Taney issued the writ, thereby ordering Merryman's release, but Lincoln ignored it.Sony VAIO VGN-FW260J/B Battery

Throughout the war Lincoln came under heavy, often vituperative attack from most Northern Democrats, calledCopperheads, not to mention the Confederates who saw him as the embodiment of the Yankee threat.

Assuming command for the Union in the war

After the fall of Fort Sumter, Lincoln soon realized the importance of taking immediate excutive control of the war and making an overall strategy to put down the rebellion. Sony VAIO VGN-FW280J/H Battery

Lincoln encountered an unprecedented political and military crisis, and he responded as commander-in-chief, using unprecedented powers. He expanded his war powers, and imposed a blockade on all the Confederate shipping ports, disbursed funds before appropriation by Congress, Sony VAIO VGN-FW290JRB Battery

and controversially suspended the writ of habeas corpus along the corridor of Washington and Philadelphia, arresting and imprisoning thousands of suspected Confederate sympathizers without warrant. The suspension of writ was done in order to give Union enlistments free entry into the capitol. Sony VAIO VGN-FW290JTB Battery

Lincoln was supported by Congress and the northern public for these actions. In addition, Lincoln had to contend with reinforcing strong Union sympathies in the border slave states and keeping the war from becoming an international conflict.

The war effort was the source of continued disparagement of Lincoln, and dominated his time and attention. Sony VAIO VGN-FW290JTH Battery

From the start, it was clear that bipartisan support would be essential to success in the war effort, and any manner of compromise alienated factions on both sides of the aisle, such as the appointment of Republicans and Democrats to command positions in the Union Army.Sony VAIO VGN-FW290JTW Battery

Copperheads and other opponents of the war criticized Lincoln for refusing to compromise on the slavery issue. Conversely, the Radical Republicans criticized him for moving too slowly in abolishing slavery. On August 6, 1861, Lincoln signed the Confiscation Act that authorized judiciary proceedings to confiscate and free slaves who were used to support the Confederate war effort. Sony VAIO VGN-FW355J/H Battery

In late August 1861, General John C. Frémont created controversy on the Republican side when he issued, without consulting Lincoln, a proclamation of martial law in Missouri. He declared that any citizen found bearing arms could be court-martialed and shot, and that slaves of persons aiding the rebellion would be freed. Sony VAIO VGN-FW373J/B Battery

Charges of negligence in his command of the Department of the West were compounded with allegations of fraud and corruption. Lincoln overruled Frémont's proclamation and he was given another command in November. This decision, in part, prevented the secession of Kentucky while incurring the violence in the North.Sony VAIO VGN-FW30B Battery

Lincoln's effort to consolidate Kentucky paid off as Union enlistments increased by over 40,000 troops from Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri.

The war assumed foreign policy implications in 1861 when James Mason and John Slidell, ministers of the Confederacy to Great Britain and France, boarded the British ship Trent in Havana, Cuba. Sony VAIO VGN-FW50B Battery

The U.S. Navy illegally intercepted the Trent on the high seas and seized the two Confederate envoys; Britain protested vehemently while the northern Americans cheered. Lincoln managed to resolve the issue by releasing the two men and war was successfully averted with Britain.Sony VAIO VGN-FW51B/W Battery

Lincoln's foreign policy approach had been initially hands off, due to his inexperience; he left most diplomacy appointments and other foreign policy matters to his Secretary of State, William Seward. Seward's initial reaction to the Trent affair, however, was too bellicose, so Lincoln also turned to Sen. Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF Battery

Charles Sumner, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and an expert in British diplomacy.

Despite his lack of expertise in military affairs, Lincoln studied books from the Library of Congress and painstakingly monitored the telegraphic reports. Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H Battery

He kept close tabs on all phases of the military effort, consulted with governors, and selected generals based on their past success (as well as their state and party). In January 1862, after many complaints of inefficiency and profiteering in the War Department, Lincoln replaced Cameron with Edwin Stanton as Secretary.Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF Battery

Stanton proved a highly energetic and efficient leader of the War Department and a strong supporter of Lincoln. Stanton ended corruption, took control of the telegraph and railroad systems in the war zones, supervised recruitment and training, purchased munitions and supplies, and evaluated generals.Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery

He also arranged for soldiers to be home to vote in crucial elections, knowing they would be 75-85% Republican. Stanton was one of many conservative Democrats (he supported Breckenridge in the 1860 election) who became anti-slavery Republicans under Lincoln's leadership.Sony VAIO VGN-FW52JB Battery

In terms of war strategy, Lincoln articulated two priorities: to ensure that Washington was well-defended, and to conduct an aggressive war effort that would satisfy the demand in the North for prompt, decisive victory; major Northern newspaper editors expected victory within 90 days.Sony VAIO VGN-FW54FB Battery

Twice a week, Lincoln would meet with his cabinet in the afternoon, and occasionally Mary Lincoln would force him to take a carriage ride because she was concerned he was working too hard. Lincoln had learned from General Winfield Scott the need to control strategic points, such as the Mississippi River;Sony VAIO VGN-FW70DB Battery

and he also knew well the importance of Vicksburg, and understood the necessity of defeating the enemy's army, rather than simply capturing territory.

General McClellan

After the Union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run and the retirement of the aged Winfield Scott in late 1861, Lincoln appointed Major General George B. McClellan general-in-chief of all the Union armies.Sony VAIO VGN-FW71DB/W Battery

McClellan, a young West Point graduate, railroad executive, and Pennsylvania Democrat, took several months to plan and attempt his Peninsula Campaign, longer than Lincoln wanted. The campaign's objective was to capture Richmond by moving the Army of the Potomac by boat to the peninsula and then overland to the Confederate capital. Sony VAIO VGN-FW72JGB Battery

McClellan's repeated delays frustrated Lincoln and Congress, as did his position that no troops were needed to defend Washington. Lincoln insisted on holding some of McClellan's troops in defense of the capital; McClellan, who consistently overestimated the strength of Confederate troops, blamed this decision for the ultimate failure of the Peninsula Campaign.Sony VAIO VGN-FW73JGB Battery

Lincoln removed McClellan as general-in-chief and appointed Henry Wager Halleck in March 1862, after McClellan's "Harrison's Landing Letter", in which he offered unsolicited political advice to Lincoln urging caution in the war effort. McClellan's letter incensed Radical Republicans,Sony VAIO VGN-FW74FB Battery

who successfully pressured Lincoln to appoint John Pope, a Republican, as head of the new Army of Virginia. Pope complied with Lincoln's strategic desire to move toward Richmond from the north, thus protecting the capital from attack. However, lacking requested reinforcements from McClellan,Sony VAIO VGN-FW81HS Battery

now commanding the Army of the Potomac, Pope was soundly defeated at the Second Battle of Bull Run in the summer of 1862, forcing the Army of the Potomac to defend Washington for a second time. The war also expanded with naval operations in 1862 when the CSS Virginia, Sony VAIO VGN-FW81NS Battery

formerly the USS Merrimack, damaged or destroyed three Union vessels in Norfolk, Virginia, before being engaged and damaged by the USS Monitor. Lincoln closely reviewed the dispatches and interrogated naval officers during their clash in the Battle of Hampton Roads.Sony VAIO VGN-FW81S Battery

Despite his dissatisfaction with McClellan's failure to reinforce Pope, Lincoln was desperate, and restored him to command of all forces around Washington, to the dismay of all in his cabinet but Seward. Two days after McClellan's return to command, General Robert E. Sony VAIO VGN-FW82DS Battery

Lee's forces crossed the Potomac River into Maryland, leading to the Battle of Antietam in September 1862. The ensuing Union victory was among the bloodiest in American history, but it enabled Lincoln to announce that he would issue an Emancipation Proclamation in January. Sony VAIO VGN-FW82JS Battery

Having composed the Proclamation some time earlier, Lincoln had waited for a military victory to publish it to avoid it being perceived as the product of desperation. McClellan then resisted the President's demand that he pursue Lee's retreating and exposed army, Sony VAIO VGN-FW82XS Battery

while his counterpart GeneralDon Carlos Buell likewise refused orders to move the Army of the Ohio against rebel forces in eastern Tennessee. As a result, Lincoln replaced Buell with William Rosecrans; and, after the 1862 midterm elections, he replaced McClellan with Republican Ambrose Burnside. Sony VAIO VGN-FW83DS Battery

Both of these replacements were political moderates and prospectively more supportive of the Commander in Chief.

Burnside, against the advice of the president, prematurely launched an offensive across the Rappahannock River and was stunningly defeated by Lee at Fredericksburg in December. Sony VAIO VGN-FW83JS Battery

Not only had Burnside been defeated on the battlefield, but his soldiers were disgruntled and undisciplined. Desertions during 1863 were in the thousands and they increased after Fredericksburg.Lincoln brought in Joseph Hooker, despite his history of loose talk about a military dictatorship.Sony VAIO VGN-FW83XS Battery

The mid-term elections in 1862 brought the Republicans severe losses due to sharp disfavor with the administration over its failure to deliver a speedy end to the war, as well as rising inflation, new high taxes, rumors of corruption, the suspension of habeas corpus, the military draft law, and fears that freed slaves would undermine the labor market. Sony VAIO VGN-FW90HS Battery

The Emancipation Proclamation announced in September gained votes for the Republicans in the rural areas of New England and the upper Midwest, but it lost votes in the cities and the lower Midwest. While Republicans were discouraged, Democrats were energized and did especially well in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and New York. Sony VAIO VGN-FW90NS Battery

The Republicans did maintain their majorities in Congress and in the major states, except New York. The Cincinnati Gazettecontended that the voters were "depressed by the interminable nature of this war, as so far conducted, and by the rapid exhaustion of the national resources without progress".Sony VAIO VGN-FW90S Battery

In the spring of 1863, Lincoln was optimistic about a group of upcoming battle plans, to the point of thinking the end of the war could be near if a string of victories could be put together; these plans included Hooker's attack on Lee north of Richmond, Rosecrans' on Chattanooga, Sony VAIO VGN-FW91NS Battery

Grant's on Vicksburg, and a naval assault on Charleston. Lincoln became despondent when none of these plans, at least initially, succeeded.

Hooker was routed by Lee at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May, but continued to command his troops for some weeks. Sony VAIO VGN-FW91S Battery

He ignored Lincoln's order to divide his troops, and possibly force Lee to do the same in Harper's Ferry, and tendered his resignation, which Lincoln accepted. He was replaced by George Meade, who followed Lee into Pennsylvania for the Gettysburg Campaign, which was a victory for the Union, though Lee's army avoided capture.Sony VAIO VGN-FW92DS Battery

At the same time, after initial setbacks, Grant laid siege to Vicksburg and the Union navy attained some success in Charleston harbor.After the Battle of Gettysburg, Lincoln clearly understood that his military decisions would be more effectively carried out by conveying his orders through his War Secretary or his general-in-chief on to his generals, Sony VAIO VGN-FW92JS Battery

who resented his civilian interference with their own plans. Even so, he often continued to give detailed directions to his generals as Commander in Chief.

Emancipation Proclamation

Lincoln understood that the Federal government's power to end slavery was limited by the Constitution, which before 1865, committed the issue to individual states. Sony VAIO VGN-FW93DS Battery

He argued before and during his election that the eventual extinction of slavery would result from preventing its expansion into new U.S. territory. At the beginning of the war, he also sought to persuade the states to accept compensated emancipation in return for their prohibition of slavery (an offer that took effect only in Washington, D.C., in April 1862). Sony VAIO VGN-FW93JS Battery

Lincoln believed that curtailing slavery in these ways would economically expunge it, as envisioned by the Founding Fathers, under the constitution. President Lincoln rejected two geographically limited emancipation attempts by Major General John C. Frémont in August 1861 and by Major General David Hunter in May 1862,Sony VAIO VGN-FW93XS Battery

on the grounds that it was not within their power, and it would upset the border states loyal to the Union.

On June 19, 1862, Congress passed an act banning slavery on all federal territory, and in July 1862 passed the Second Confiscation Act, which set up court procedures that could free the slaves of anyone convicted of aiding the rebellion. Sony VAIO VGN-FW94FS Battery

Although Lincoln believed it was not within Congress's power to free the slaves within the states, he approved the bill in deference to the legislature. He felt such action could only be taken by the commander-in-chief using war powers granted to the president by the Constitution, and Lincoln was planning to take that action. Sony VAIO VGN-FW94GS Battery

In that month, Lincoln discussed a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation with his cabinet. In it, he stated that "as a fit and necessary military measure, on January 1, 1863, all persons held as a slaves in the Confederate states will thenceforward, and forever, be free."Sony VAIO VGN-FW94HS Battery

Privately, Lincoln concluded at this point that the war could not be won without freeing the slaves. However Confederate and anti-war propagandists had success spreading the theme that emancipation was a stumbling block to peace. Republican editor Horace Greeley of the highly influential New York Tribune fell for the ploy.Sony VAIO VGN-NS10E/S Battery

and Lincoln refuted it directly in a shrewd letter of August 22, 1862. The President said the primary goal of his actions as president (he used the first person pronoun and explicitly refers to his "official duty") was preserving the Union:

My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery.Sony VAIO VGN-NS10J/S Battery

If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; Sony VAIO VGN-NS10L/S Battery

and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. . . .  I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.Sony VAIO VGN-NS110E/L Battery

Lincoln had over and over again made clear that he wanted the states to emancipate the slaves (which they officially did in 1865 by ratifying the Thirteenth Amendment). His role in leading the national army would be to save the union, using every tool available, including complete or partial emancipation (he employed partial emancipation). Sony VAIO VGN-NS110E/S Battery

As for the Confederates, they would return only at the point of a bayonet.

The Emancipation Proclamation, issued on September 22, 1862, and put into effect on January 1, 1863, declared free the slaves in ten states not then under Union control, with exemptions specified for areas already under Union control in two states.Sony VAIO VGN-NS110E/W Battery

Once the abolition of slavery in the rebel states became a military objective, as Union armies advanced south, more slaves were liberated until over three million of them in Confederate territory were freed. Lincoln's comment on the signing of the Proclamation was: "I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper."Sony VAIO VGN-NS115N/S Battery

For some time, Lincoln continued earlier plans to set up colonies for the newly freed slaves. He commented favorably on colonization in the Emancipation Proclamation, but all attempts at such a massive undertaking failed. A few days after Emancipation was announced, 13 Republican governors met at the War Governors' Conference;Sony VAIO VGN-NS11J/S Battery

they supported the president's Proclamation, but suggested the removal of General George B. McClellan as commander of the Union Army.

Using former slaves in the military was official government policy after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. Sony VAIO VGN-NS130E/L Battery

At first, Lincoln was reluctant to fully implement this program, but by the spring of 1863, he was ready to initiate "a massive recruitment of Negro troops". In a letter to Andrew Johnson, the military governor of Tennessee, encouraging him to lead the way in raising black troops, Sony VAIO VGN-NS130E/S Battery

Lincoln wrote, "The bare sight of 50,000 armed and drilled black soldiers on the banks of the Mississippi would end the rebellion at once". By the end of 1863, at Lincoln's direction, General Lorenzo Thomas had recruited 20 regiments of blacks from the Mississippi Valley.Sony VAIO VGN-NS130E/W Battery

Frederick Douglass once observed of Lincoln: "In his company, I was never reminded of my humble origin, or of my unpopular color".

Gettysburg Address

With the great Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, and the defeat of the Copperheads in the Ohio election in the fall, Sony VAIO VGN-NS140E/L Battery

Lincoln maintained a strong base of party support and was in a strong position to redefine the war effort, despite the New York City draft riots. The stage was set for his address at the Gettysburg battlefield cemetery on November 19. Defying Lincoln's prediction that "the world will little note,Sony VAIO VGN-NS140E/S Battery

nor long remember what we say here," the Address became the most quoted speech in American history.

The Gettysburg Address was delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863. Sony VAIO VGN-NS140E/W Battery

In 272 words, and three minutes, Lincoln asserted the nation was born, not in 1789, but in 1776, "conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." He defined the war as an effort dedicated to these principles of liberty and equality for all. Sony VAIO VGN-NS190J/L Battery

The emancipation of slaves was now part of the national war effort. He declared that the deaths of so many brave soldiers would not be in vain, that slavery would end as a result of the losses, and the future of democracy would be assured, that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."Sony VAIO VGN-NS190J/S Battery

Lincoln concluded that the Civil War had a profound objective—a new birth of freedom in the nation.

General Grant

Meade's failure to capture Lee's army as it retreated from Gettysburg, and the continued passivity of the Army of the Potomac, persuaded Lincoln that a change in command was needed. Sony VAIO VGN-NS190J/W Battery

General Ulysses S. Grant's victories at the Battle of Shiloh and in the Vicksburg campaignimpressed Lincoln and made Grant a strong candidate to head the Union Army. Responding to criticism of Grant after Shiloh, Lincoln had said, "I can't spare this man. He fights."Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/L Battery

With Grant in command, Lincoln felt the Union Army could relentlessly pursue a series of coordinated offensives in multiple theaters, and have a top commander who agreed on the use of black troops.

Nevertheless, Lincoln was concerned that Grant might be considering a candidacy for President in 1864, as McClellan was. Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/P Battery

Lincoln arranged for an intermediary to make inquiry into Grant's political intentions, and being assured that he had none, submitted to the Senate Grant's promotion to commander of the Union Army. He obtained Congress's consent to reinstate for Grant the rank of Lieutenant General, which no officer had held since George Washington.Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/S Battery

Grant waged his bloody Overland Campaign in 1864. This is often characterized as a war of attrition, given high Union losses at battles such as the Battle of the Wilderness and Cold Harbor. Even though they had the advantage of fighting on the defensive, the Confederate forces had "almost as high a percentage of casualties as the Union forces".Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/W Battery

The high casualty figures of the Union alarmed the North; Grant had lost a third of his army, and Lincoln asked what Grant's plans were, to which the general replied, "I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer."

The Confederacy lacked reinforcements, so Lee's army shrank with every battle, Sony VAIO VGN-NS240E/L Battery

forcing it back to trenches outside Petersburg, Virginia, where Grant began a siege. Lincoln then made an extended visit to Grant's headquarters at City Point, Virginia. This allowed the president to confer in person with Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman about the hostilities, as Sherman coincidentally managed a hasty visit to Grant from his position in North Carolina.Sony VAIO VGN-NS290J/L Battery

Lincoln and the Republican party mobilized support for the draft throughout the North, and replaced his losses.

Lincoln authorized Grant to target the Confederate infrastructure—such as plantations, railroads, and bridges—hoping to destroy the South's morale and weaken its economic ability to continue fighting. Sony VAIO VGN-NS290J/S Battery

Grant's move to Petersburg resulted in the obstruction of three railroads between Richmond and the South. This strategy allowed Generals Sherman and Philip Sheridan to destroy plantations and towns in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Sony VAIO VGN-NS50B/L Battery

The damage caused by Sherman's March to the Sea through Georgia in 1864 was limited to a 60-mile (97 km) swath but neither Lincoln nor his commanders saw destruction as the main goal, but rather defeat of the Confederate armies. As Neely (2004) concludes, there was no effort to engage in "total war" against civilians, as in World War II.Sony VAIO VGN-NS50B/W Battery

Confederate general Jubal Anderson Early began a series of assaults in the North that threatened the Capital. During his raid on Washington, D.C. in 1864, Lincoln was watching the combat from an exposed position; Captain Oliver Wendell Holmes shouted at him, "Get down, you damn fool, before you get shot!"Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/L Battery

After repeated calls on Grant to defend Washington, Sheridan was appointed and the threat from Early was dispatched.

As Grant continued to wear down Lee's forces, efforts to discuss peace began. Confederate Vice President Stephens led a group to meet with Lincoln, Seward, and others at Hampton Roads.Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/P Battery

Lincoln refused to allow any negotiation with the Confederacy as a coequal; his sole objective was an agreement to end the fighting and the meetings produced no results. On April 1, Grant successfully outflanked Lee's forces in the Battle of Five Forks and nearly encircled Petersburg, and the Confederate government evacuated Richmond. Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/W Battery

Days later, when that city fell, Lincoln visited the vanquished Confederate capital; as he walked through the city, white Southerners were stone-faced, but freedmen greeted him as a hero. On April 9, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox and the war was effectively over.Sony VAIO VGN-NS52JB/L Battery

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