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Emancipation, the Union army, and the reelection of Abraham Lincoln

Author: Jonathan W White
Publisher: Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 2014.
Series: Conflicting worlds.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"The Union army's overwhelming vote for Abraham Lincoln's reelection in 1864 has led many Civil War scholars to conclude that the soldiers supported the Republican Party and its effort to abolish slavery. In Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln, Jonathan W. White challenges this reigning paradigm in Civil War historiography, arguing that the soldier vote in the presidential election of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Named Person: Abraham Lincoln
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jonathan W White
ISBN: 9780807154571 0807154571 9780807154588 080715458X
OCLC Number: 854980354
Description: xv, 275 pages ; 24 cm.
Contents: "That the purity and sanctity of the ballot box shall be preserved": Civil War politics and the troops --
"You must have learned ... of my official decapitation": emancipation and intimidation in the Union ranks --
"I am afraid I am something of a Copperhead": resignations and desertions in the Union army following emancipation --
"For my part I dont care who is elected president": the Union army and the elections of 1864 --
"Not fit to be a citizen": the disfranchisement of deserters in the postwar period --
Epilogue: "A vote in the democracy for which they are fighting and dying."
Series Title: Conflicting worlds.
Responsibility: Jonathan W. White.

Abstract:

"The Union army's overwhelming vote for Abraham Lincoln's reelection in 1864 has led many Civil War scholars to conclude that the soldiers supported the Republican Party and its effort to abolish slavery. In Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln, Jonathan W. White challenges this reigning paradigm in Civil War historiography, arguing that the soldier vote in the presidential election of 1864 is not a reliable index of the army's ideological motivation or political sentiment. Although 78 percent of the soldiers' votes were cast for Lincoln, White contends that this was not wholly due to a political or social conversion to the Republican Party. Rather, he argues, historians have ignored mitigating factors such as voter turnout intimidation at the polls, and how soldiers voted in nonpresidential elections in 1864. While recognizing that many soldiers changed their views on slavery and emancipation during the war, White suggests that a considerabale number still rejected the Republican platform, and that many who voted for Lincoln disagreed with his views on slavery. He likewise explains that many northerners considered a vote for the Democratic ticket as treasonous and an admission of defeat. Using previously untapped court-martial records from the National Archives, as well as manuscript collections from across the country, White convincingly revises many commonly held assumptions about the Civil War era and provides a deeper understanding of the Union Army"--Jacket.

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