James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

Page 175

  Chapter V   THE JUDGMENT of the people at the ballot-box was unfavorable to the President. At the October and November elections, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, all of which except New Jersey had cast their electoral votes for Lincoln, now declared against him. The Democrats made conspicuous gains of congressmen and, if they had had a majority in the other States, would have controlled the next House of Representatives. From such a disaster, Lincoln was saved by New England, Michigan, Iowa, California, Minnesota, Kansas, Oregon and the border slave States. The Emancipation Proclamation was a contributing cause to this defeat: that the war begun for the Union was now a war for the negro was held up as a reproach; and, in contravention, “the Constitution as it is and the Union as it was,” became a maxim to conjure with. And there were other contributing causes. 1 But the chief source of dissatisfaction was the lack of success in the field. Elation over the victory of Antietam had been followed by disappointment at Lee’s army being suffered to recross the Potomac without further loss. But if McClellan had destroyed it and if Buell had won a signal victory in Kentucky, Lincoln would certainly have received a warm approval at the polls.  1   The view of a Radical, who had a remarkable way of putting things, will give us an idea of the criticism Lincoln
Note 1. See IV, 164. [back]