Candidates in the 1864 Pesidential Election


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 1, 1864

This site features our extensive collection of original Harper's Weekly newspapers from the Civil War. These newspapers contain incredible descriptions of the important events of the war, and illustrations of the battles created by war correspondents embedded with the troops.

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General Warren's Lines

General Warren's Lines

Discussion of 1864 Presidential Election

Sherman's Atlanta Campaign

Sherman's Atlanta Campaign

American Flag

American Flag

Douglas Monument

Senator Douglas Monument

Sherman Burning Georgia Railroads

Sherman Burning Georgia Railroads

Sherman's March Georgia

Sherman's Georgia March

Sherman Atlanta

Sherman's Attack of Atlanta


The Halt




Political Cartoon







[OCTOBER 1, 1864.



THERE is a land where strife shall cease, Where arms shall clash no more;

Where all is calm content and peace; Lord, bring us to that shore !

In the rough tent, in the wild tent,

In the marches by the way,

Be thou the soldier's comforter,

His strength, his staff, his stay.

About the graves of good men gone

Make thou the grass to shine; Our armies lead to victory on,

And make their victories thine.

In the rough tent, in the wild tent,

In the marches by the way,

Be thou the soldier's comforter,

His strength, his staff, his stay.

And when we've done with life's events, When the dark shadows fall,

Help us, O Lord, to strike our tents For the last march of all.

To the sad tent, to the sick tent, To the dying tent, come down,

And gem the rough wood of the cross With the blossoms of the crown.




THE patriotism of the American people rejected with such instant scorn and indignation the craven platform of the McCLELLAN and PENDLETON party that the managers are now painfully struggling to separate the candidates from the Convention and platform. So far as regards Mr. PENDLETON this effort is hopeless. He is as plainly and fully upon the record as Mr. VALLANDIGHAM. His political philosophy as precisely that of CALHOUN and JEFFERSON DAVIS. He is a Union man of the school of ROBERT TOOMBS and YANCEY, and of no other. No " Union" capital can be made out of Mr. GEORGE H. PENDLETON. He is therefore passed by , and McCLELLAN'S letter is offered as "a good enough" platform until after the election.

"My face is my fortune, Sir, she said." His letter is his platform, we are told. That would have been a more plausible deception if the party which is to support him had not already declared what he is to do. The representatives of that party from all parts of the country, and fresh from their constituents, met at Chicago and deliberately proclaimed their opinions and their policy ; and as the New York Herald, the earliest supporter of McCLELLAN, truly says : " The Copperheads are the law-makers of the Democratic party"—if the meeting at Chicago is to be allowed to usurp that name.

But the letter itself does not deny the assertion of the platform that the war is a failure ; on the contrary, it substantially repeats it, by saying that we derive no result from our victories. It does not reject the effort for an immediate cessation of hostilities ; it says merely that when it shall be probable, whether by means of such an effort or otherwise, that the rebels are ready for peace upon the basis of the Union, then—they may return to their obedience to the Government ? Not at all ; but that then we will proceed to consider upon what terms they are to obey. Is not the Constitution enough ? If so, why does he not say so ? Having taken up arms against the Government, are the rebels to be bribed to lay them down by the promise of a change in the Constitution ? That is to grant the success of the rebellion. It is the surrender made at Chicago, and it is repeated in McCLELLAN'S vague phrases about "exhausting all the resources of statesmanship."

No man who reads this letter but sees its juggling intention. It talks of " the Union at all hazards," but so the Chicago platform declares Union to be " the aim and object" of the party. But what Union is meant ? Is it Union under the Constitution of the United States, or the Montgomery Constitution? HORATIO SEYMOUR says the last is the best. Senator HUNTER, of Virginia, told a member of the Peace Congress in 1861 that all the Northern States except New England would accept the Montgomery Constitution. McCLELLAN knows perfectly well the intended policy of the men who are his supporters, and they have purposely left this loop-hole in his letter.

But after this fine flourish about Union, what does the letter end in? In the acceptance of the nomination offered by the framers and supporters of the platform, and by falling into line with Mr. GEORGE H. PENDLETON a frank disunionist. To know the real significance of this campaign, therefore, and the true position of the candidates, we are to ascertain the views and intentions of their supporters.

The organ of McCLELLAN in New York, which informs a sympathetic world that it " loves" him, says that when he accepted the nomination he, of course, accepted the platform.

The Cincinnati Enquirer, a VALLANDIGHAM paper, says that McCLELLAN " stands on the platform erected by the Convention as far as it goes, and adds another," which, "under his administration would never be required for use."

The Chicago Times, one of the most virulent submission sheets in the country, says : "He accepts the trust and with it all the conditions named."

The Boston Courier, which declares the war infamous, unscrupulously advocates the election of McCLELLAN.

Mr. VALLANDIGHAM says that while McCLELLAN will adhere to the Union (Mr. V. himself proposes to divide it into quarters), yet " he is committed to—and he is a gentleman, and will carry out every pledge made—he is committed to resort to peaceable instrumentalities to accomplish that purpose." Mr. V. made the Chicago platform, seconded the nomination of McCLELLAN, has read his letter, and, as the Cincinnati Enquirer says, will " cordially support and vote for McCLELLAN and PENDLETON."

Mr. FERNANDO WOOD, who, as Mayor of New York, regretted that he could not send arms to the rebels to shoot loyal men with, says that he shall give all his influence and weight to the election of McCLELLAN, and that his letter declares for compromise.

Mr. BONE, of Pennsylvania, said, at Chicago, that " if they wanted the war to go on, then they should support LINCOLN." But he, BONE, of Pennsylvania, as a peace man, was in favor of McCLELLAN.

" Capt." KOONTZ, of Pittsburg, remarked that " if Democrats catch LINCOLN'S b—y satrap spies among them they must cut their d —d throats, that's all. It is the duty of every American to vote for a peace candidate   
D—n LINCOLN and his miserable followers ! I should like to see the noble GEORGE B. McCLELLAN as President; and that great Democrat, HORATIO SEYMOUR, should be Secretary of State." The " Capt.," we hope, enlarged upon " the LINCOLN despotism" which suppresses free speech.

Mr. PERRINE, after some indecent remarks disparaging Mr. LINCOLN and extolling JEFFERSON DAVIS, asked that " the people shall bow down to the will of the people, and they have willed that GEORGE B. McCLELLAN shall be nominated and elected."

" Capt." ISAIAH RYNDERS said : " We are one and all for peace    my first choice is

A Memphis " gentleman" gave his voice for peace, and invoked the election of the gallant McCLELLAN.

Mr. " Sunset" Cox declared " the war a failure," and supported McCLELLAN.

HORATIO SEYMOUR, the President of the Chicago Convention, denies the right of the Government " to coerce States ;" that is, to enforce the laws : and said in Wisconsin that the Chicago candidate was the representative of the principles of those who nominated him.

The resolutions of the State Conventions of the party during the year, as in Maine, Kentucky, Illinois, and elsewhere, are all in the key of the Chicago platform.

These are the men and the influences which went to Chicago, declared the war a failure, called for submission to the rebellion, and nominated McCLELLAN and PENDLETON. These are the men upon whose support PENDLETON and McCLELLAN rely. Suppose that, alarmed by the popular wrath, McCLELLAN strikes a fine attitude and shouts, " The Union at all hazards!" is any honest man deceived? What says his party—what say his backers and supporters ? " Wait till we elect our man," says shrewd old Amos KENDALL, " and then we can do what we choose."

Is it to such men in such a crisis that the people of the United States are likely to intrust their Government ? The letter of McCLELLAN is merely a fool-hardy experiment upon the intelligence of the American people.


IT is refreshing to turn from the shame of the Chicago confession of rebel invincibility and the duty of national submission to the insurrection, to the noble order of General SHERMAN congratulating his troops. It has the manly ring of all his words and all his acts. It is modest, clear, vigorous, and not without a glow of generous pride in the great achievements of his trained and heroic soldiers. A brief history of the stupendous campaign, an honorable recognition of the patience and skill of the enemy, a word of heart-felt honor and sorrow for the fallen, naturally culminate in an expression of the profoundest faith in the grand old cause to which every true heart is devoted.

Let all faithful Americans who are not willing to see their nation humiliated and ruined, and its Government overthrown by the arms or the arts of rebels, compare the following passages from General SHERMAN'S order and from Messrs. VALLANDIGHAM'S and SEYMOUR'S platform, for whose candidates our votes are asked. The McCLELLAN-PENDLETON resolution says :

"This Convention does explicitly declare as the sense of the American people that after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war. . . .immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities."

Hear now a declaration of the sense. of the American soldier :

"This completed the grand task which had been assigned us by our Government, and your General again re-

peats his personal and official thanks to all the officers and men composing this army, for the indomitable courage and perseverance which alone could give success. We have beaten the enemy on every ground he has chosen, and have wrested from him his own Gate City, where were located his foundries, arsenals, and work-shops, deemed secure on account of their distance from our base, and the seemingly impregnable obstacles intervening. Nothing is impossible to an army like this, determined to vindicate a Government which has rights wherever our flag has once floated, and is resolved to maintain them at any and all cost."

Upon the first platform stand McCLELLAN and PENDLETON, VALLANDIGHAM and the WOODS, FRANKLIN PIERCE and HORATIO SEYMOUR. Upon the last stand LINCOLN and JOHNSON, GRANT and SHERMAN, SHERIDAN and CANBY, FARRAGUT and PORTER. With which of these, American citizens, are the honor, dignity, and peace of the nation most secure?


GENERAL McCLELLAN, the candidate of " an immediate cessation of hostilities" and " peaceable methods" with rebels who defy the Government, and slaughter and torture loyal citizens and soldiers, stands arm-in-arm upon the Chicago Platform with Mr. GEORGE H. PENDLETON. If you vote for the one you vote for the other. It is the same figure with two faces. The one turned North is called GEORGE B. The one turned South is called GEORGE H. GEORGE B., in a military coat, says, " The Union at all hazards." GEORGE H., in the whitest of white cravats, and the whitest of white feathers in his button-hole, weeps, " If they must leave the family mansion I would bid them fare well so tenderly that they would forever be touched by the recollection of it." GEORGE B., in the military coat, shouts still, not daring to amplify, " The Union at all hazards !" GEORGE H., with the CALHOUN starch in his cravat, asks, "Now, Sir, what force of arms can compel a State to refrain from doing that which her State Government, supported by the sentiment of her people, is determined to persist in doing?"

" The Union at all hazards !" shouts the military GEORGE B., looking heroically for six months into the mouths of Quaker guns. " No, no, no," votes the civil GEORGE H. against all the bills to support by arms the authority of the Government. At Antietam GEORGE B. gives LEE a day to draw off his army from destruction. In Washington GEORGE H. votes that it is not the duty of the people to overcome the rebellion, and that the seceding States should be allowed to go with assurances of distinguished consideration.

Which is it ? Who is it ? What is it ? If a man votes for the Chicago nominees does he really believe that he is voting against the rebellion? Which side of the candidates does he vote for ? In the universal confusion he can be perfectly sure of one thing only, and that is, that he is voting exactly as JEFF DAVIS and the rebels wish him to vote. " Hurrah for McCLELLAN and PENDLETON !" shouted an estimable " Conservative" voter, whose wits were bewildered either with wine or with the hopeless Chicago fog. "I mean for McCLELLAN and PENDLENTON! No, that ain't it. Hurrah, I say, for McCLELLAN and PENDELTON !" The poor fellow got further from the mark at every attempt, until he finally gave it up in despair, exclaiming, " Oh! d—n such a mixed up mess ! Hurrah for JEFF DAVIS !"


IF lanterns voted and rockets argued—if shouts carried an election, and a New York crowd in Union Square were the American people at the ballot-box, Mr. PENDLETON and General McCLELLAN ought to be contented. Possibly the illumination of the meeting in Union Square a week since may have been bright enough to be visible at several miles distance. But dazzling as it was, we can assure our friends outside the city that it did not obscure in the least the plain question before the country.

There are but two candidates and two platforms. Every voter will support one or the other. Every man who wishes the unconditional maintenance of the Government will vote for LINCOLN and JOHNSON ; while all who have no faith in the right or the power of the Government to sustain itself—all who think that the " Confederacy" should be recognized—all who hold that a State is " sovereign," and may coerce the National Government and the other States, but must not itself be "coerced"—all who intend that the national debt shall be repudiated—all who believe that the war is and ought to be a failure, and that there should be an immediate cessation of hostilities, will vote for McCLELLAN and PENDLETON.

We do not say that some citizens who honestly mean the absolute maintenance of the Government will not vote for PENDLETON and McCLELLAN—but in what company will they find themselves?

The hope of the McCLELLAN-PENDLETON managers is to carry the State of New York by securing the Chicago candidates an immense majority in the, city. That they will have a majority here nobody doubts. But does any body doubt that the same city would cast a , heavy majority tomorrow to make peace on

JEFFERSON DAVIS'S terms ? Can the majority of such a city be considered a Union majority? Can the candidates who will unquestionably receive it be considered in good faith Union candidates, especially when one of them frankly says that the Government has no right to maintain itself by force, and that if we can not conciliate the rebels we must "let let the seceding States depart in peace ?"

All the colored lanterns in the country, all the denunciation of the President of the United States as a bloody monster, a usurper, an ape, a joker, and a buffoon, can not blind the common sense of the American people to the issue.


AT the late McCLELLAN meeting in the city of New York, Mr. RANKIN, of Philadelphia, formerly President of the Keystone Club, said that

"If Mr. LINCOLN remained in office under the plea of military necessity, when ' Little MAC' was legally elected the next President, the people must use force to install him their chief magistrate."

Mr. W. J. ROSE said

" That if any unfair means were used by the Administration to hold power under any plea but justice, then the people must show their might and power in enforcing their claims."

Governor PARKER said that the speech of Mr. SEWARD at Auburn

" Conveyed a threat that, in case Mr. LINCOLN should be defeated at the polls, he would resort to the means generally adopted by despots, and endeavor to perpetuate his reign by the force of the bayonet."

Mr. JOHN KELLY said :

" Let no soldiers stand in the way of the people at the ballot-box. It was done once before—let it not be done again."

Mr. John M 'KEON said :

" These men are determined to exercise their rights at the ballot-box, and will the Administration dare to bring military power to bear upon you ?"

Mr. A. OAKEY HALL said :

" There is yet a more dangerous kind of tactics which our opponents hold in reserve. It is that which theorizes with bayonets and dogmatizes with bullets, and we have that to fear in the elections."

Judge COMSTOCK said :

" The usurper now has his heel upon the free suffrages of the people ; yet if the people be defrauded by military intervention at the polls, the people must and will take GEORGE B. M'CLELLAN in their arms, and carry him to the Presidency."

From whom does this kind of talk come ? From the supporters of the only party members of which have ever resisted by force the result of a constitutional election. From the late political allies and the present apologists of JEFFERSON DAVIS and the rebels.

For what purpose is it used? To give occasion for resistance to the result of the election if the Government shall take measures to prevent fraud at the polls.

' These fiery and foolish orators should remember that their late friends the rebels at the South, and themselves at the North, tried to carry the last Presidential election by the same kind of threats. They menaced the people with civil war then if they did not submit to the dictation of Davis and YANCEY and TOOMBS, and allow BRECKINRIDGE to be elected; and the people of every free State in the land spurned them and their threats.

They believe these people to be now thoroughly cowed and craven, and utterly whipped in by Davis and his crew, and so they crack the whip once more, and threaten fire and slaughter if McCLELLAN is not elected. Well, do Vermont and Maine seem to be very much terrified ? and do the gentlemen suppose that threats which could not intimidate a people actually rusty with peace and ignorant of war, are likely to appall the same people when for four years they have been trained to war and are still in arms ? These orators will discover, as the rebels are fast learning, that the people of the United States do not intend to be Mexicanized ; and that politicians merely betray the frantic desperation of their cause when they conduct a Presidential canvass by bloody threats instead of arguments.


MR. AUGUST BELMONT, Chairman of the National "Democratic" Committee—the gentleman at whose house, as was publicly stated in the newspapers at the time, an Englishman was allowed to wear a rebel badge without reproof from the host—a gentleman of such uncertain loyalty that there was long and serious opposition to placing his name upon the Committee of the Metropolitan Sanitary Fair, and a gentleman known as an especial partisan of General McCLELLAN—said at the last meeting in Union Square, as reported in the papers, " that the nomination of General McCLELLAN [and of course his companion PENDLETON] was a source of fear and dread to the Southern leaders."

Let us see if it is.

McCLELLAN and PENDLETON are the candidates of the party which calls itself "Democratic." The nomination of McCLELLAN was seconded by Mr. VALLANDIGHAM, who has been the faithful friend of the rebels, and the steady apologist of the rebellion. Every man who has(Next Page)




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