Category Archives: Politics

Meade’s Account of Mine Run

One of my favorite pieces of correspondence from the war is a Dec. 2, 2863, letter that George Gordon Meade wrote to his wife in the wake of the Mine Run campaign. The commander of the Army of the Potomac, … Continue reading

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1860’s Politics: A Conclusion

It’s been a history-making month in modern America with the 2016 Presidential Election, and I think we managed to have some educational fun here on Emerging Civil War with our examination of 1860’s Politics. It’s time to close this political … Continue reading

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1860’s Politics: Confederate Political Songs?

The North had many political songs for candidate praise and candidate bashing. What about the South? Did the Confederacy write music about their political leaders? The short answer: yes and no. Here’s the longer answer:

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1860’s Politics: Songs For The Campaign Trail

During the past few weeks, we’ve noted some similarities between political campaigns in the 1860’s and the modern era. We’ve learned that mudslinging and “creative insults” aren’t new. We’ve reminded ourselves that Americans are opinionated. There’s one aspect of 1860’s politics … Continue reading

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1860’s Politics: Why Do We think McClellan Was the “Peace Candidate”? Because the Rebels Thought So

A thoughtful respondent to my recent submission to the ECW blog, “1860’s Politics,” wondered why Gen. George McClellan, Democratic nominee for U. S. president in 1864, waited until after Sherman’s troops captured Atlanta, Sept. 2, 1864, before he announced his … Continue reading

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1860’s Politics: Lincoln-Douglas Debates Continue, Part III: Self-Government and Political Correctness

If we define political correctness as demanding conformance with favored positions, not tolerating contrary opinions, and branding opponents or perceived opponents as radicals (“they are just evil/crazy/stupid”), all without offering rational counter arguments, then these are not new phenomena. Abraham … Continue reading

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A Reminder at the Polls

At my polling place in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, this morning, the line stretched long out the door of Wilderness Elementary School, wrapping along the edge of the traffic circle. At 6:45 a.m., the temperature was just rising past thirty degrees. … Continue reading

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1860’s Politics: How Did Voter Apparel Show Support For Candidates?

Do you wear t-shirts to support a favorite candidate? How about a bumper sticker on your car or truck? Hopefully, you got an “I voted” sticker today! In the 1860’s, they didn’t wear t-shirts, and I have yet to find a … Continue reading

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1860’s Politics: Statistics & The Soldiers’ Vote

It’s Election Day in the U.S.A. (Don’t forget to vote). As we watch the tally of popular and electoral votes this evening, remember that presidential elections and the electoral college have been in existence since 1787 (when the Constitution was signed). … Continue reading

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1860’s Politics: After All These Years, Why Do We Think President McClellan Would Have Given the Rebels an Armistice?

Approaching the 1864 Northern presidential election, students of the Atlanta Campaign tend to focus on how Sherman’s capture of the city on Sept. 2, 1864 helped President Lincoln win re-election. Conversely, we ponder Southerners’ hopes that the Democratic candidate, Maj. … Continue reading

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