[civilwarwest] Lincoln Election
- Early on in my interest in the Civil War I was puzzled by the high vote for Lincoln within the Armies' ranks,yet I have never been able to find any concrete evidence of interference in the soldier's decisions. Surely the letters and diaries of the troops would have revealed any mass bribery by alcohol or other means.It seems that almost all the veterans were thoroughly behind Lincoln, to disregard their two/three year effort to beat the Confederacy and vote to end the war seemed crazy. My sources are mostly from the Western Armies but letter after letter gives Lincoln the support. They show that the soldiers were far from ignorant of the Political situation and that McCellan by joining with the Copperheads had 'sold his soul'. Also the situation had changed on the war front, no sooner than the Democrats in Chicago had cried that the war was a failure the head lines were telling of the fall of Atlanta, Faragut's success in Mobile and Sheridan's win at Fisher's Hill. These pieces of news must have boosted the men's confidence in their efforts to do the job Lincoln required.On another subject I think D.A Burden's view point about Sherman bringing 20 Century warfare is exactly right, I think he realised that total war was the only way to win and he used his organisational skills to effect that result. There is nothing more de-moralising to a force than to see your opposition brush aside anything in its path dispite the best efforts of nature or man. Sherman's Army was a huge wrecking machine,deadly effective. As long as the Southern Generals could not defeat it, it would get better.I recommend Joseph T, Glathaar's book on Sherman's Army for statistical information on the votes of soldiers in the election.