1864 Presidential Campaign


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, September 10, 1864

Harper's Weekly was the most popular illustrated newspaper of the Civil War period. Many Americans relied on Harper's for news of the war each week. The paper was read by over a million people each wee. Today, you can get this same news by browsing our online collection.

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Archbishop McCloskey

1864 Presidential Campaign

Democratic Convention

Democratic Convention

Water Spout

Water Spout

Metacomet and Selma

Nathan Forrest Raid

Nathan Bedford Forrest Memphis Raid

General John Geary

General John Geary

Wall Street Cartoon

Wall Street Cartoon

Virginia Map

Map of Grant's Virginia Campaign


Rebel Ironclad Ram "Tennessee"








[SEPTEMBER 10, 1864.


(Previous Page) a sailing vessel, and on his arrival in New York was arrested by Inspector Tanner, who had arrived from London several days previously in the Manchester. Muller is about 24 years of age, and is a tailor by profession. His hair is light, and he has small gray eyes. Altogether he is not prepossessing in his appearance.


THAT is our answer--see on high

The old flag fluttering in the breeze, Proudly it greets the blue sky

Upon the land and on the seas.

What ! dim its lustre—strike on star From out its glorious azure field? No, never! we would rather far

Shed our last drop of blood than yield.

Take back the olive-branch !   We hold It better that the cannon flame

Than that the envious world be told

The Peace we purchased cost us shame.

From Maine to Florida's far shore,

From East to farthest West, each State Must be thenceforth for evermore

Bound in one UNION strong and great.

The fields are broad throughout our land; Our people powerful in their might; Each loyal heart, each loyal hand

Is ready to defend the RIGHT.

The traitor who to WRONG would bow

Cowers low before the patriot's eye; The North has registered her vow,

"The UNION!" is her battle-cry.

It sounds across the mighty lakes,

Its thunder tone the wide air fills It rolls along her vales, and wakes

The echoes of her giant hills.

Hear it, ye people of the South !

Tear down foul TREASON'S bastard rag; Join in the cry with heart and mouth, And rally round the brave old flag.

Then shall this reign of bloodshed cease ;

The warrior shall put by his sword; And, graved in golden letters, "PEACE"

Shall be a Nation's dearest word.

You have our answer—see where flies The old flag underneath the sky;

Turn to its shining folds your eyes,
That banner is our ONE reply !



WHO shall be the Union candidate for Governor of New York? Whoever he may be, if he be honest and true, we shall give him our hearty support. But, meanwhile, before the Convention meets, it is a most serious duty to consider the circumstances which should control the nomination.

In this great and vital campaign, for the salvation of national honor and the authority of the Government, we need in the State canvass a leader whose name will be at once familiar to every voter in it, and which will assure every man beyond the State who loves his country and the Union that he may be confident and cheerful of the national result, because New York goes into the great fight intent only upon overwhelming victory.

What man then is there, known to the whole State and to the whole country, whose name is his platform, who is identified in every word and act since the rebellion began with the Union; Whose nomination will be the seal of the sincerity of Union men in claiming to disregard party, and who will rally to the cause all who in an election regard persons more than platforms, and who look first and only to the honorable maintenance of the Union ?

We know how conventions rim in ruts, and how carefully they are selected with reference to certain purposes. We concede the necessity of strict party organization in free governments for the sake of achieving great results. But civil wars are the furnaces in which old parties are fused, and the pure gold of patriotism runs together in new combinations. We Union men deceive ourselves if we underestimate the necessity at gaining every advantage we can command. We are fatally deluded if we suppose that the old party precedents can now be strictly regarded. No convention can he so dear to the people, or so secure of victory by deserving it, as one which strikes a note to which the great popular heart responds, and which, by discarding those who seek to control it with too great personal partiality, confides its action to the dispassionate judgment of its constituents. If the Chicago Convention had been brave enough to rely upon the resolution of the American people to maintain their Government without asking the rebels upon what terms they might be permitted to do so, and had nominated a man conspicuous only for patriotic devotion, it would hare divided

loyal support with that at Baltimore, for its key note would have been Patriotism. But it was impossible. It reveals itself a mere party machine, the danger of which to the country we allow, but which will be shivered by the strong sense of the people.

Will Syracuse make the mistake of Chicago ? Will it not rather follow the noble example of Baltimore, which reflected the popular will in nominating Mr. LINCOLN, and in associating with him an old Democrat and an ex-slaveholder, ANDREW JOHNSON? How gladly and gratefully every Union man in the land will vote for ANDREW JOHNSON, who was tried and tried again, but was not found wanting; and vote for him even more willingly, with a chivalric generosity honorable to human nature, if his former party associations were republican.

It was said, indeed, at Baltimore, and it will be said at Syracuse, that quite enough concession has been made to Union men of Democratic antecedents. But that is an unwise and unworthy suggestion. If the Baltimore Convention had thought General BUTLER, an old Democrat, a stronger candidate with loyal men than Mr. LINCOLN, an old Whig, it would have nominated him. It knew each to be as honorable and faithful as the other ; and it was not a partisan but a patriotic consideration which decided for Mr. LINCOLN. So at Syracuse, and especially at this time, we are to forget whether a man were Whig; Democrat, or Republican, and are to ask only whether he be an honest, able man, who heartily supports the policy of the Administration, who is thoroughly trusted by it, and who for reasons that are honorable to himself but not discreditable to any other, is a candidate whose name not only promises a surer victory in the State, but will greatly strengthen the national ticket. The suggestion should need no argument nor illustration, but commend itself at once. Such a nomination should be as spontaneous as it will be successful.

We do not forget how many noble and true men there are, faithful early and late to the good cause ; we do not forget how many might contend in a high rivalry of patriotism for the nomination at Syracuse ; we do not forget that honest and long service creates a party claim not to be wisely disregarded in party times and party conventions. But in strange and momentous periods like this, when all mere party is an impertinence because the issues infinitely transcend party considerations, is it not clear that if a man can be found who, when all shook, was steady, when the wisest were confounded, and the bravest dismayed, and the most confident doubtful, and the very ground was reeling under our feet, spoke the word that brought the blood back to the national heart, and vigor into its frame, and lighted its eye with victory, he is our natural, our inevitable, our triumphant leader, marching with whom we know that whoever hauls down the American flag will be shot upon the spot ?

Every man, woman, and child in the State and the country who reads these words knows that there is such a man ; and their hearts are before their lips in naming



COULD there be a more melancholy spectacle than the whiners, grumblers, and groaners among the Union men of the country ? Involved in a tremendous war; under fire in the face of the enemy; with a large party skillfully and constantly assailing the Administration; with an ever present necessity weighing upon that Administration to be no less confident of its friends at home than vigorous in the field, and an equal necessity upon its friends to be patient and for bearing in criticism and very charitable in judgment, there are plenty of Union journals and men incessantly, although undesignedly, lending the most efficient aid in perplexing the Administration and prolonging the war.

The need of the hour is recruits. How are they to be obtained if Union men are busiest and loudest in decrying the time and method in which they are called as the most unfortunate possible, and the Administration that calls them as the weakest conceivable? Why should we wonder that rebels shout, and Copperheads hiss with joy, if Union men are limp in the knees and mortally weak in the back, and invite defeat by showing that they expect it?

" Oh! but," sighs some despairing brother, the President is so dreadfully slow." Yet he is quite as fast as Congress and faster than the country. You who complain of his being slow and behind the people, are the very ones who regret his talking about the abandonment of slavery in "To whom it may concern." You blow hot and cold in the same breath.

" Oh, dear me! yes ; but if he had only gone ahead at first and created public opinion !" Yet you know, who sigh and groan most dismally, that if the President had begun by abolishing slavery the Democratic party would have had the very excuse they were longing for, to take sides against the Administration. And even now, from the moment of the preparatory Emancipation proclamation, there has been an organized opposition. Would he have avoided it by

issuing his proclamation when Ellsworth was killed? It is very important not to skip facts.

" But he is so shockingly weak ! He might have shown more vigor. Just hear how openly treason is talked on all sides!" And yea whenever his hand falls heavily, upon VALLANDIGAM, upon the papers that publish a proclamation forged for mischief to the country, upon orators inciting to resistance, or when LONG in Congress is threatened with expulsion for renouncing his oath, who is first to condemn the action of the Administration, and so give the President the best reason for supposing that summary action will divide Union men?

"Yes; but why didn't he end the war long ago? See how he hung on to McCLELLAN when he knew him to be incompetent." Those who say this are mainly "radical" men. Do they honestly believe that a war of which they understand the philosophy, which they know to be a radical, vital, social, and political revolution, was to be ended in a year or three years, when one party to the conflict was taken utterly by surprise and totally without preparation, and when the course of the war was sure to develop the bitter opposition that we see? Does any thoughtful man really believe that in June, 1861, there was a royal road to victory in six or twelve months? And as to McCLELLAN, he was at that time a popular idol, and worshiped with a superstition proportioned to ignorance. Before he had been publicly tried and had conspicuously failed, it would have been mere folly for the President to risk the consequences of his arbitrary removal. For if his removal after the terrible Chickahominy campaign, and the day's truce given to LEE to save himself at Antietam, has produced the party feeling for him that we see, what would the result have been had he been removed when an immense number not of his party believed in his capacity and insisted that he must have a chance?

"Yes, perhaps ; but then the President is surrounded by such a shilly-shally cabinet." Yet against the character of each one of them no word can be breathed. The Secretary of State has saved us from foreign war; perhaps obsequiously, but he has saved us ; and of vows more or less profound, when in time of great peril they secure vital results, we can at least be tolerant. "But the Secretary is under the thumb of THURLOW WEED." Very well ; then the President is not under the Secretary's thumb; for Mr. WEED himself assures us that he has, and has had, no influence whatever with the President. "But he wants to compromise and bargain." Very well; if he does, you see the President does not, and every cardinal act of his administration has been his own. In the range of his duties as foreign minister has the Secretary of State served his country well? If he has, that is his department. The Secretary of War is hated by a large party, of course. Mistakes he has made, like every Secretary in every administration. Yet at this moment is not every army in just the place and under just the leader we should wish? And has any malfeasance or special incompetency ever been brought home to the Secretary ? The Secretary of the Treasury—of an antique Roman mould—have not his appointment and his skillful and patriotic appeal, with returning public confidence and the decline of the gold fever, reconciled loyal men to the departure of his predecessor? "But there is a 'ring' in the Navy Department, and the Monitors are a failure." Well, we did not think the Monitors a failure in Hampton Roads, and FARRAGUT, and WINSLOW, and DU PONT, and PORTER have not seriously tarnished the old fame of the American navy. " But MONTGOMERY BLAIR is the very genius of evil." Yet he supports most cordially the President's policy, and we hear most of his enormities from the friends of Mr. WINTER Davis, who, unquestionably faithful and able as he is, at this moment is certainly not doing much to secure a Union victory at the polls.

That, as in every administration, there have been gross blunders and costly faults ; that there have been mistakes of policy and of detail ; that, as in every war, there have been contract frauds and corruption of every kind, is as true as that in the previous Administration, whose friends are fiercely assailing this, there was universal corruption and infamous treason. But the man who does not view the Administration as a whole; who does not consider exactly under what circumstances it took office, and with what unquestioned honesty and unselfish patriotism its chiefs have conducted affairs; the man who does not bear constantly in mind the enormous difficulties which have beset it, arising from the peculiar political complications of the country ; who does not consider the inevitable danger to the cause itself of pertinaciously making the Administration responsible for every military mishap ; who does not see and acknowledge the vast results that have been achieved in every way; who does not recognize that the insane fury of the rebels against the President, echoed by the frantic denunciation of him as a despot and a tyrant by their political allies at the North, all indicate a mortal fear that the people, whose representative he is, do not mean to submit to disunion or degradation—the man who does not bear all these facts in mind, but forever carps at details, and is frightened by the loud brag of the enemy into dolefully shaking

his head and flapping his feeble hands, can not be held guiltless if the event lie predicts arrives, and the Union and the country are destroyed.


THIS new game is very simple, but it is very instructive, although not in the least surprising. It consists merely in rolling up separately the following pretty sentences, shaking them in a hat, then drawing them out and trying to determine which is from a rebel, and which from a "Democratic" authority:

" The thing LINCOLN has attempted can not be done. ....God help the tyrant when the people are arrayed against him."

" LINCOLN can never ruin the South."

"LINCOLN is a usurper, a man of blood, a monster of iniquity, the embodimeut of murder and infinite crime." "Let not the tyrant usurp the place [voice ?] of the ballot!"

" To throw off such a tyranny requires the exercise of a public virtue and a popular and manly independence." " A desolating war forced upon an innocent people by an imbecile President."

"Let the two hundred thousand graves he has made tell their own tale."

"General Lee is a better champion of the rights of self-government in this country than ABRAHAM LINCOLN." " Mr. LINCOLN is a military despot."

"On to the common enemy! Down with LINCOLN!" " United against Mr. LINCOLN and his wicked policy." " Though the destroying angel has not pawed through the land and taken your first-born, he has taken hundreds of your first-born at the command of LINCOLN." " The monster who now rules the Yankees."

" LINCOLN demands blood. Let the tyrant tremble when the people speak."

" Who among you dare speak or write what he thinks against the tyranny which has robbed you of your property, imprisons your sons, drags you to the field of battle, and is daily deluging your country with blood?"

The game may be varied by daily cutting out fresh extracts from the rebel papers and those that support the Chicago nomination. Those that we have quoted are from a paper in Iowa, from the FREMONT organ, from the Richmond Whig and Dispatch, and the New York Express, and from the speeches of Messrs KERNAN and WOOD of New York, DREW and BRADBURY of Maine, and VALLANDIGHAM of Ohio, and from the "Peace" mottoes at Syracuse. The last extract, however, is not modern—it is from the Proclamation of BENEDICT ARNOLD to the citizens and soldiers of the United States, October 20, 1780.

Those who use this language do not differ very widely. They mean the same thing. Who ever agrees with them will vote for their candidates. Whoever believes that no Government can compromise with rebels without insuring its own destruction will vote against them. If the President of the United States is "a monster" or "a tyrant" for keeping his inaugural oath; if his recourse in the midst of a terrible war to means universally necessitated and legitimated by a state of war any where, and by the Constitution of the United States and the common sense of mankind, makes him "a usurper, a man of blood," then let us hasten, under leaders who say what we have quoted, to return to a state of things in which the right of speech and of the press and every right of personal liberty whatever was annihilated in a time of profound peace by those who now rage at the President when, in time of rebellion or invasion, he suspends the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, in order that the Union, and under it the personal liberty of every citizen in it, may be as secure in peace as it is in war.


WHY is it that the rebel papers are so ready to give friendly advice to what they call the "Democratic" party at the North ? They had no counsel to offer at Baltimore—nothing but sneers and defiance. Yet the Baltimore Convention only declared for the unconditional restoration of the Union and submission of all rebels to the supreme sovereignty of the people. Was it, then, because they believe the Chicago Convention ready to demand something less than this that the rebels were so forward with friendly advice? And if so, does any thoughtful Union man who understands the question wish to support that policy which is shaped by rebel counsel and enjoys rebel approval ?

The Atlanta Register says : "If they [the 'Democrats] will use the ballot-box against Mr. LINCOLN while we use the cartridge-box, each side will be a helper to the other."

The Richmond Examiner said, two years ago: " It is not to be denied that a Democratic victory at the North would be a subject of much gratification."

The Richmond Whig says: "If LINCOLN be defeated the war may be brought to a speedy, honorable, and satisfactory close   It is the sheerest nonsense for Southern people to affect indifference as to what is going on in the North, or as to whom the people of that section may have for President   It is a matter of the first importance to us that that functionary be a man who will have some regard for our rights, our interests, and our honor."

The point of the last article from which we quote, which is very long and written with studied calmness, was to show the Chicago Convention what policy would defeat Mr. LINCOLN. That is the rebel hope. To defeat GRANT and (Next Page)




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