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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

November 08, 1864

Abraham Lincoln Re-elected

United States President Abraham Lincoln was re-elected over George B. McClellan, who had commanded the Union armies for most of the first two years of the war. Many southerners (see letter below) considered a McClellan victory the best chance the Confederate States had of ending the war on terms favorable to the South.

A Covington, Georgia woman wrote in her journal about the hopes she had for the election in the North, and her private feeling that slavery was not “altogether right.”

“To-day will probably decide the fate of the Confederacy. If Lincoln is reelected I think our fate is a hard one, but we are in the hands of a merciful God, and if He sees that we are in the wrong, I trust that He will show it unto us. I have never felt that slavery was altogether right, for it is abused by men, and I have often heard Mr. Burge say that if he could see that it was sinful for him to own slaves, if he felt that it was Page 14 wrong, he would take them where he could free them. He would not sin for his right hand. The purest and holiest men have owned them, and I can see nothing in the scriptures which forbids it. I have never bought or sold slaves and I have tried to make life easy and pleasant to those that have been bequeathed me by the dead. I have never ceased to work. Many a Northern housekeeper has a much easier time than a Southern matron with her hundred negroes.” Source: A Woman’s Wartime Journal: an Account of the Passage over a Georgia Plantation of Sherman’s Army on the March to the Sea, as recorded in the Diary of Dolly Sumner Lunt (Mrs. Thomas Burge)