The Miracle of 1864

     There have been a number of miraculous elections in this dear land of ours, down through the years. Come to think of it, maybe every election is a miracle; certainly, each peaceful transition is. What a gift of God! Let's pray it happens this time too, dear ones. 

     But by far, the most miraculous of them all have been the elections of Abraham Lincoln.
     First of all, he should never have been elected in the first place. He was a hick; a nobody; he was taking a bold stand on a very divisive issue—slavery. And—get this!—did you know that in Lincoln's first election of 1860, his name was not even on the ballots in the Southern States? (Sounds like something California would try).
     Even more astounding than that, however, was the re-election of Abraham Lincoln! In the late Spring of that election year, almost nobody believed it was going to happen. Just consider the factors :
1. Americans were sick and tired of the war.
2. The Civil War looked like a stalemate; the balance had not yet tipped in the North's favor.
3. General Grant lost 55,000 men during his invasion of Virginia and still failed to take Richmond.
4. The casualty lists were deeply disturbing; draft resistance was skyrocketing. Desertions from the Northern army were up 40% from previous years. 5. The Democrats had a very attractive, charismatic candidate—General George B. McClellan.
6. Sizable factions in both parties, and even one from among the Confederates were calling loudly for an end to the war and a return to the precession status quo.
7. The Democratic Party platform that year, with McClellan as its spokesman, called for an "immediate cease-fire", with the states restored to their original union. Oh, that sounded so good! No more sacrificing of our boys! Peace and unity once again! Who wouldn't vote for that?
     Except that the enslaved would still be enslaved; the Emancipation Proclamation would be nullified—McClellan was already vowing to do that—and America would still be stewing in its sin.
     Praise God! Lincoln adamantly opposed all mention of a cease-fire until the south surrendered and slavery was abolished forever.
     Think of it, dear ones! America was one election away from being a "slaving" nation forever; or at least until the next Civil War.
     General McClellan was a real piece of work. He could have ended the Civil War in 1862 after the Battle of Antietam, when he had Robert E. Lee's forces on the run. But he did not pursue. Even when Lincoln commanded him to do so, he did not pursue. He just...let...Lee...go; either because of cowardice, laziness, treachery, or loyalty to a fellow Virginian. I personally vote for all the above. General McClellan himself could have ended this war...and refused!
     Once fired, of course, McClellan proved his real colors by turning against his Commander in Chief and slandering him at every turn (sound familiar?). 
     Even after being fired by the President, McClellan enjoyed a popular following from among the troops. He certainly had the military vote! He was the Democrats' perfect candidate.
     Lincoln was convinced that he was going to lose. The polls were dismal. The mainstream press were all against him (why am I not surprised?) At the end of August, with the election still a few months away, Lincoln sent a memo to this cabinet, with the words: "It seems exceedingly likely that this administration will not be re-elected". The memo went on to direct his staff to get ready "to cooperate with the (new) President-elect" so as to "save the Union" and ensure a smooth transition.
     "Lincoln steeled himself for defeat," writes Fergus Bordewich, in his great article on the subject.1 This thing was over!
     "On election night, Nov 8, Lincoln planted himself in the telegraph room at the War Office as a chill rain pelted the capital's streets. He waited stoically as the returns slowly trickled in from around the country. Only in the early hours of the morning did the outcome begin to take shape: Lincoln had won a sweeping victory, carrying all but three states (New Jersey, Delaware, and Kentucky) and crushing McClellan by 212 electoral votes to 21. Most startling was the military vote: Overall, Lincoln had won 78% of the soldiers' ballots. They wanted the war over but were set on victory, as were most of the people of the North."
     To this day, no one has fully explained how this happened. A few military victories for the North that Fall, perhaps. But was that enough for such a swing? Something had turned the hearts of the American people! Or...should we not say "Someone"? For...
     "The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, He gives it to whomever He chooses." Dan. 4: 25
     Let's all pray dear ones. And vote! The choice this election is simple: Communism or America. I see nothing else! Powerful forces are at work trying to end this nation as we've known it. I praise God that He is in control; but that's all the more reason to do your part!

See you Sunday. RAS

1. I take no credit for any of the research or presentation of this article, it has all come from: Fergus Bordewich, "The Election that Saved the United States", Wall Street Journal, August 29: 2014. Other sources corroborated it for me but, for the sake of space, and because I really couldn't improve upon it, I have just condensed and summarized Bordewich's fine article. 

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