The Rise and Fall of the CSA, 1861-1881

Interesting start here. Looking forward to seeing what the effects of a Confederacy that survives the Civil War but by only a couple of decades has on both the US and the rest of the world.
 
Now, those are some interesting choices for the lineage of Union presidents... any reason you chose them?
The reasoning behind most of these presidents is due to events occuring ITTL, with the occasional spice of political backlash or someone dying thrown in. If you are particularly interested in the reasoning behind any of them, I'll be glad to explain it to you in more detail.
 
The reasoning behind most of these presidents is due to events occuring ITTL, with the occasional spice of political backlash or someone dying thrown in. If you are particularly interested in the reasoning behind any of them, I'll be glad to explain it to you in more detail.
Let's hear your logic behind Huey Long and Al Smith unless it's spoilers.
 
Garfeild, Lodge and Hughes?

Ok.

The Ultimate Beards of Awesome for President.

....
Wow, I am blown away by all the likes this TL is receiving. Even though the first entry hasn't even been up for a full day yet, it almost has any many like as the first chapter of main ATL. Thank you everyone for all the likes!
I also think its the fact that someone is actually writing a Confederate TL that has them pretty much be a failed state and completely collapses. No one really does that, and I think that makes it a lot more interesting than its usual confederacy survives TLs.
 
Death Knell of the Union: The Maryland Campaign and the Battle of Perryville
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Following his brilliant success in the Second Battle of Bull Run, Lee came to the decision that the time for offensive action into the Union had come. Panicked by these movements, Lincoln would remove Pope and combine the Armies of Virginia and the Potomac into one force under McClellan to destroy Lee. Lee would split his forces into three wings under Generals Thomas "Ironrod" Jackson, James Longstreet, and D.H. Hill both to cause as much widespread havoc as possible and to increase the ease of logistics. McClellan would organize his forces into wings under Generals Edwin Sumner, Ambrose Burnside, and William B. Franklin. The first major battle of the campaign would be the Battle of Harper's Ferry, where General Jackson was able to surround and force the surrender of the over 12,000 Union garrison troops, although none were attached to McClellan's command. Following this would come the Battle of South Mountain, where McClellan would order Joseph Hooker and the men of his I Corps to destroy D.H. Hill and his men. Launching an aggressive assault on their position, what seemed to be an easy victory turned into a disaster when CSA divisions under General J.G. Walker and J.B. Hood came crashing in on Hooker's flanks. Only the timely arrival of Burnside with the rest of his wing saved the I Corps from destruction, but it had been severely battered and Hooker lay dead. Following this, Lee's next attack against McClellan was aimed at Sumner's wing, where he concentrated his forces under Longstreet and Hill against him, while also ordering Jackson to come and help. Thus began the bloodiest battle of the campaign, with Sumner and his two corps having to withhold against attack after attack during the Battle of Hagerstown. Eventually the arrival of Jackson on the field was precipitate the smashing of the Union line, but both sides suffered heavy losses in the battle, including generals, with the Union losing Generals Richardson, Sedgwick, Williams, and Greene, while Generals Evans and Jones fell on the Confederate side. Only the arrival of McClellan himself with Franklin's wing was able to stabilize the line on the second day, at which point Lee halted his assault. All the while, Stuart and his cavalry had been raiding in Maryland. With three great victories achieved, Lee would retreat back into Virginia as his men were tired and he had suffered heavy causalities, but had also severely damaged northern morale.

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The Battle of Perryville was a clash between the Army of the Ohio under General Don C. Buell and the Army of Mississippi under General Braxton Bragg. In it, a Union corps under Alexander McCook, separated from the rest of the army, clashed with the whole Confederate army. The result of this was the Confederate Army being able to roll up McCook's flank, and send his men fleeing. In what is considered the turning point of the battle, Union general George H. Thomas, beloved by the men and second-in-command of the army, was mortally wounded while directing reinforcements into combat. With his death, the rest of McCook's corps routed and they abandoned the field.
 
Let's hear your logic behind Huey Long and Al Smith unless it's spoilers.
Smith achieves office somewhat due to party weariness the nation feels towards the Republicans, but mostly due to the alliance formed between the Democrats and Populists to defeat the Republicans and take office.
When the nation is dissatisfied with both the performance of the Republicans and the Democrats during the Great Depression, they decide to turn to the energetic Long for the presidency, as he is offering solutions as opposed to the Republican strategy of wait it out, and the Democrats are still marred by the Depression starting under their rule.
 
U.S./CSA Presidential Election List with citations
1865-1868: Thomas Seymour/Augustus C. Dodge (Democratic)
Defeated, 1864: Abraham Lincoln/Hannibal Hamlin (Republican), Andrew Johnson/Montgomery Blair (Reunionist) [1], John A. Logan/Ambrose Burnside (Soldier's) [2]
1868-1869: Augustus C. Dodge/Vacant (Democratic)
1869-1873: Horatio Seymour/George H. Pendleton (Democratic)

Defeated, 1868: Henry Wilson/Oliver H.P. Morton (Republican), Augustus C. Dodge/George Woodward (Dodge Democrats/Reunionist) [3], Charles Sumner/ Benjamin Wade (Freedomite) [4]
1873-1881: Thomas A. Hendricks/Thomas F. Bayard (Democratic)
Defeated, 1872: John Sherman/Frederick T. Frelinghuysen (Republican), Benjamin Wade/John Bingham (Freedomite)
Defeated, 1876: James G. Blaine/Samuel J. Kirkwood (Republican), Peter Cooper/Newton Booth (Greenback)

1881-1889: James A. Garfield/George F. Edmunds (Republican)
Defeated, 1880: Samuel J. Tilden/Allen G. Thurman (Democratic), James B. Weaver/Hendrick B. Wright (Greenback)
Defeated, 1884: Thomas F. Bayard/Samuel J. Randall (Democratic), James B. Weaver/Benjamin F. Butler (Greenback)

1889-1893: William B. Allison/William W. Phelps (Republican)
Defeated, 1888: Grover Cleveland/Joseph E. McDonald (Democratic), Clinton B. Fisk/John Bidwell (Prohibition)
1893-1897: Grover Cleveland/Horace Boies (Democratic)
Defeated, 1892: William B. Allison/William W. Phelps (Republican), James H. Kyle/Thomas Tibbles (Populist), John P. St. John/Joshua Levering (Prohibition)
1897-1902: Thomas B. Reed/Shelby M. Cullom (Republican)
Defeated, 1896: Grover Cleveland/Horace Boies (Democratic), William J. Bryan/Ignatius L. Donnelly (Populist), Stephen D. Ramseur/John W. Daniel (States' Rights) [5], James B. Cranfill/Hale Johnson (Prohibition)
Defeated, 1900: David B. Hill/Adlai Stevenson (Democratic), William J. Bryan/Wharton Barker (Populist), Benjamin Tillman/William V. Sullivan (States' Rights), John G. Woolley/Silas C. Swallow (Prohibition)

1902-1905: Shelby M. Cullom/Vacant (Republican)
1905-1909:Shelby M. Cullom/Thomas H. Carter (Republican)

Defeated, 1904: William J. Bryan/Francis Cockrell (Populist), George Gray/Richard Olney (Democratic), Silas C. Swallow/George W. Carroll (Prohibition)
1909-1916: Charles W. Fairbanks/Philander C. Knox (Republican)
Defeated, 1908: William J. Bryan/Thomas E. Watson (Populist), George Gray/Alton Parker (Democratic)
Defeated, 1912: Robert M. La Follete/Oscar Underwood (Populist), Eugene Foss/Woodrow Wilson (Democratic), Eugene V. Debs/Emil Seidel (Socialist)

1916-1917: Philander C. Knox/Vacant (Republican)
1917-1921: Hiram W. Johnson/John M. Parker (Populist)
Defeated, 1916: Philander C. Knox/Charles E. Hughes (Republican), Champ Clark/Thomas R. Marshall (Democratic)
1921-1924: Henry C. Lodge/Charles E. Hughes (Republican)
Defeated, 1920: Hiram W. Johnson/John M. Parker (Populist), James M. Cox/John W. Davis (Democratic)
1924-1925: Charles E. Hughes/Vacant (Republican)
1925-1929: Charles E. Hughes/Calvin Coolidge (Republican)

Defeated, 1924: Al Smith/William G. McAdoo (Democratic), Charles W. Bryan/Burton K. Wheeler (Populist)
1929-1933: Al Smith/Porter McCumber (Democratic) [6]
Defeated, 1928: Charles Curtis/Charles G. Dawes (Republican)
1933-1937: Herbert Hoover/James W. Wadsworth Jr. (Republican)
Defeated, 1932: Porter McCumber/Cordell Hull (Progressive), Al Smith/Newton D. Baker (Democratic)
1937-1944: Huey Long/Henry A. Wallace (Progressive)
Defeated, 1936: Herbert Hoover/James W. Wadsworth Jr., Franklin D. Roosevelt/Alben Barkley (Democratic)
Defeated, 1940: Arthur H. Vanderberg/Thomas E. Dewey, James Farley/Paul V. McNutt (Democratic)

1944-1945: Henry A. Wallace/Vacant (Progressive)
1945-1949: John N. Garner/Harry S. Truman (Democratic)
Defeated, 1944: Robert A. Taft/Earl Warren (Republican), Henry A. Wallace/William O. Douglas (Progressive)
1949-1953: Robert A. Taft/Thomas E. Dewey (Republican)
Defeated, 1948: John N. Garner/Harry S. Truman (Democratic), Henry A. Wallace/Glen H. Taylor (Progressive)
Defeated, 1952: Robert S. Kerr/Richard Russell (Democratic), Estes Kaufauver/Vincent Hallinan (Progressive)

1953-1957: Thomas E. Dewey/Vacant (Republican)

Presidents of the Confederacy, 1862-1881

1862-1868: Jefferson F. Davis/Alexander H. Stephens [7]
Defeated, 1862: Unopposed
1868-1874: Alexander H. Stephens/Louis T. Wigfall
Defeated, 1867: Howell Cobb/William A. Graham, Robert Rhett/Roger A. Pryor
1874-1880: Robert Toombs/William P. Miles
Defeated, 1873: Robert M.T. Hunter/John Breckinridge
1880-1881: Nathan B. Forrest/John T. Morgan
Defeated, 1879: Clement C. Clay/Judah Benjamin
(Fall of the CSA, Various U.S. military governors)

Notes:
[1]: The Reunionist Party was created after the separation of the CSA from the U.S. and it achieving its independence. Their goal was to try and convince the CSA to rejoin the Union by offering ironclad protections of slavery. The party would fail to achieve much success in the post-war years, as both the Republicans and Democrats had come to view the CSA as traitors, and were unwilling to negotiate in the role of an inferior again. Nevertheless, it still managed to bring over some notables from both parties, including Benjamin F. Butler from the Republicans, and Fernando Wood and Clement L. Vallandigham from the Democrats.

[2]: Mostly a party consisting of disgruntled Union veterans, the Soldier's Party were disgusted by the end of the Civil War, and how many of their friends and comrades had died in vain. Surprisingly, they held both of the U.S.'s major political parties in despise. They hated the Democrats for forcing an end to the war and demanding peace negotiations, while they detested the Republicans due to their belief that they had mishandled the war. After General McClellan turned down their overtures to be their candidate for president, they would instead nominate John Logan. The party lacked almost any cohesion, which can explain their poor popular vote performance, and mostly served a club from men who had seen horrible things to vent, thus explaining their failure to nominate a candidate in any other election.

[3]: A splinter faction of the Democratic Party consisting of Dodge supporters and former Reunionists. Dodge failed to secure the Democratic presidential nomination for the 1868 election due to him having suspected sympathies with the Reunionist Party. Because of this, he would launch his own campaign, convincing his attorney general George W. Woodward to be his running-mate. His campaign's endorsement by the Reunionist Party only served to hurt his cause. They would be fiercely attacked and decisively defeated come election day, effectively ending the political careers of both Dodge and Woodward.

[4]: A break off party from the Republicans, the Freedom Party represented the faction of the Republican Party who was unsatisfied with the current Republican platform, which opposed slavery, but did not go as far as to support equal rights for all races. While they did do well as a regional party in New England, in the grand scheme of things, all that they managed to achieve was to draw away potential Republican voters. Eventually, the death of their figure head, Charles Sumner, would witness the death of the party and the return of its members to the Republicans. They hold the distinction of having the first African-American candidate for the executive branch, with Frederick Douglass narrowly being beaten out by Charles F. Adams to be the 1872 vice-presidential nominee, but still managing to beat Charles F. Adams and John A.J. Creswell in terms of delegates.

[5]: Created in the aftermath of the United States government finally beginning to ease the rights of a citizen back into the hands of former citizens of the Confederacy, the States' Rights Party, or the Confederacy Party as it was nicknamed at the time and is generally referred to as today, was a gathering of disgruntled former Confederates, many of whom were veterans, to oppose the federal government's growing shift towards racial equality. There were also many rumors that the party intended to legalize secession and the reform the CSA, although any low level member of the party would have denied this accusation. Interestingly, many former Confederates including Roger Q. Mills, James H. Berry, Daniel L. Russell, Francis R.T. Nicholls, Oscar Underwood, and even J.E.B. Stuart, who had returned from his exile in Canada and now lived in New York, openly criticized the party and said that the only thing it would achieve was the national government taking away the few rights that had been returned, and it applying more sanctions. At first, the national government would take no action against the new party, even allowing them to run a candidate for the presidency, but once their activities grew more violent and racially motivated attacks began, the party was outlawed in 1903. It would remain in the underground for a few years afterwards, but it never publicly fielded a candidate for office again. Many of its members would switch loyalties to the Populist Party, which aided in their rise and eventual surpassing of the Democratic Party.

[6]: Seeing that their party was on a steady decline, and believing that unifying with one of the traditional parties would be their only chance to have their voice heard, the Populist Party agreed to through their support behind the Democratic ticket. In return, the Democrats would place a Populist on the ticket as vice-president. After a fierce battle, this man would prove to be Porter McCumber, a Populist senator from North Dakota, who narrowly defeated Joseph T. Robinson. This alliance would be shattered by the coming of the Great Depression, when the Populists once again seperated themselves as an independent party, now referred to as the Progressive Party.

[7]: Due to their belief that political parties naturally brought about corruption and strife, the Confederacy never had any official political parties. They would have factions that very closely resembled them, however.
 
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The Battle of Fredericksburg
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Following the disaster that had been the Maryland campaign, many generals and advisers urged Lincoln to allow the army time to rebuild and get more recruits. Lincoln, who was already witnessing the terrible losses the Republicans were suffering the 1862 midterm elections, decided against this. Finding as many available men as possible to fill the gaps in the Army of the Potomac, Lincoln would replace McClellan as commanding officer with General Ambrose Burnside, the wing commander who had performed best in the Maryland campaign in Lincoln's estimations. Following this, Lincoln would order Burnside to make preparations in all haste to launch a successful offensive against Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and capture Richmond. The result of this prodding would be the Battle of Fredericksburg. Deciding to take as direct as possible to reach Richmond, Burnside would begin fording his army across the Rappahannock River on pontoon bridges. Unfortunately for himself and the army, Lee had expected this movement, and had sent forward men to harass the crossing troops. Eventually, Burnside and his army successful crossed, although at a high price. Following this, Burnside's army would be confronted by Lee's army positioned high of Marye's Heights. Seeing the defenses, Burnside developed a plan. He would send Sumner's and Mansfield's wings against the stronger Confederate right, hoping to draw men and attention there, with Franklin's wing then assaulted the left at the prime moment. Despite this plan having some merit, the wing commanders would bungle it. Sumner would follow his orders to the tee, and gallantly oversaw his men in their hopeless assaults against the heavily fortified Confederate lines under Jackson. Mansfield, meanwhile, would delay his men's assaults, leaving Sumner unsupported. When his men finally did start, he committed them piecemeal and despite facing the weakest portion of the Confederate line, they were handily repulsed. With Sumner's men still falling by the hundreds on the right, Burnside ordered Franklin to begin his attack. Once again, he committed his troops piecemeal, and none of the Confederate troops that Burnside had planned on being sent to the right had been sent there, instead remaining on the left. Thus Franklin drained his wing in half-hearted assaults. Enraged by this result, Burnside would personally commandeer and lead Mansfield's wing, and order a simultaneous assault of all three wings at once. Despite this being the closest the Union came to shattering Lee's lines, they were still ultimately repulsed, and Burnside had to retreat across the Rappahannock River, admitting defeat. Upon returning to Washington, Burnside resigned his command and left General Sumner to be the commander of the ruins of the Army of the Potomac, which was now rampant with desertion. Upon receiving word of the defeat, Lincoln would reportedly clasp his head in his hands and whisper the Lord's Prayer three times before saying aloud "The Union is divided. May heaven above forgive me for my failure."
 
The Louisville Peace Conference, 1863
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Following the debacle of Fredericksburg, the continued threat posed to the Midwest by Bragg's marauding Army of Tennessee in Kentucky, and the failure of the efforts of General John A. McClernand to make any progress towards capturing Vicksburg, the results of the 1862 midterms were clear in showing the public's disapproval of continued war. They showed this by handing the Democrats a decisive victory in the battle over the ballot box. Lincoln knew that he would have until March 4, 1863 before these newly elected congressmen took their seats and gained control of Congress, with the ability to dictate the inevitable peace terms to the Confederacy. Despite of the fact that he did not want to end the war, Lincoln also did not want the Democrats to gain the ability to choose how the war concluded and negotiate peace terms. Thus he decided he would take action, and began making plans for a peace conference. Reaching out to President Davis, he announced his intents to form a commission of men for seeking out peace with the Confederacy. At this news, Davis was delighted, and quickly went about forming his own. Lincoln made clear that this discussion was only to be between the two nations, without an international mediator that had been offered by such men as Prime Minister Palmerston of Britain or Emperor Napoleon III of France. Setting the date for the beginning of the convention on January 8, 1863, the two sides agreed to meet in Louisville, Kentucky. This was due to the fact that Kentucky was still in the Union, but the Confederacy had a large field force in the state, making both sides feel at least somewhat comfortable.
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When the two sides met, the issue of Confederate independence was rapidly agreed to the positive after offers of reunification with ironclad protections of slavery were refused, as despite the U.S. commissioners hatred of the idea, they realized they had been dispatched to negotiate peace on the terms of independence should reunification be refused. Then came the more contentious issues, such as the border states, fugitive slaves, and the Mississippi River. Ultimately, the following conclusion was reached for the points. The U.S. would recognize the independence of only the states that had declared independence, leaving West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, and the Indian and Arizona territories in the Union. The Confederates protested this, as they had many men from these states in their ranks, but they realized that the despite the horrible repulses it had suffered, the Union Army still remained a viable force to be feared. So after much back and forth, that point was settled. Next came the issue of fugitive slaves. It was here that the United States gave some ground to help balance out the border state issue. They agreed that Confederate slave-catchers could pursue slaves into the United States, but once the slaves crossed out of the border states into a free state, it would be free and safe from recapture. While this looked good on paper, in practice, this clause was often ignored by the CSA, and violations were hardly prosecuted by the United States. Finally came the issue of trade of the Mississippi and other rivers. Realizing the importance of the U.S. in the future as a trade partner, the CSA peace commissioners agreed they could afford to be lenient, and only asked for a 10% tariff on U.S. goods being transported on CSA rivers. With the main issues settled, the men would turn to ironing out the fine details and other small matters, until they finally achieved a final draft on January 29, 1863, which was then signed on February 5. The Treaty of Louisville would be brought before the Congress of both sides, and approved, albeit with much reluctance in the U.S. on February 22. Thus came to an end the brutal American Civil War, with an estimated roughly 30,000 U.S. dead, and 27,000 dead on the Confederate side.
 
The Lincoln Administration in the Aftermath
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Despite of the end of the Civil War, the nightmare was not over yet for the Lincoln administration. He was still in office to at least 1865, and with his popularity at an all time low, he knew he was going to be in for two year stay in hell. Of note during this time of terrible trepidation for the United States would be the New York City Veteran Riots of 1863. This riot, which would be the largest but far from only riot of this type to occur in the post-war years, would be caused by veterans returning home only to find poverty. This would in part be due to the U.S.'s economy having been tanked by almost two years of violent war with little to no gain. It would also occur due to the government failing to pay many of its soldiers for their service, and the failure of pensions. Thus, with nothing better to due, the veterans conjugated and started rioting. Prominent among the events of the first day of rioting was the burning of several effigies of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, who by now was the most hated man in America, and the mob ransacking several banks for their money. The next day, the chaos continued, but by now the New York militia had been called in, and told the veterans to disperse or be fired upon. To this threat, Richard J. Curran, a former assistant surgeon and Medal of Honor recipient, would stride up right into the faces waving his medal and asking them what they had done during the war. Then, suddenly, a shot rang out and Curran laid slain. With his death, men on both sides starting firing. Many veterans still retained their rifles from the war, which outclassed those used by the New York militia. It was only after three days of fighting and arrival of more militia who even brought a cannon that the riots were finally put down. All of this only went to hurt the already severely damaged image of the Lincoln administration.

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With the riots finally quelled, Lincoln knew what needed to be done. He asked Secretary Stanton if he would resign for the sake of his country. Stanton would agree after much deliberation. Subsequently, Lincoln would appoint Michigan senator Zachariah Chandler to fill his role. He originally supported former senator Benjamin Wade of Ohio, but the Democrats who now controlled Congress were completely unwilling to get behind a man so radical.

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The final major act of Lincoln's presidency would be to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court caused by the death of Roger Taney. Despite his hopes that he could appoint a man like Ira Harris or promote Samuel F. Miller, he realized he would have to appeal to the Democrats. Thus, he promoted Stephen J. Field, a Democrat who he had already appointed as an Associate Justice. The Democrats approved this, as Field was a member of the Democratic Party. Filling the vacancy in the court caused by his promotion, Lincoln would appoint another Democrat he approved of, David Tod of Ohio. Once again, he was approved by the Democrats in Congress.
 

Attachments

The Post-War Parties
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The Soldier's Party was a United States political party created in the aftermath of the American Civil War. The party was originally formed by Union veterans who were dissatisfied with both of the major political parties at the time, with them disliking Republicans for losing the war and the soldier's beliefs that they were focusing more on the plight of African-Americans than the veterans of the war, and the Democrats because they saw them as the men who had forced peace to occur, which made the sacrifices of their comrades in vain. Despite it starting only among the low ranked soldiers, the party grew rapidly due to the large number of discontented soldiers, and soon it came to the attention of men of higher rank. Former generals, such as John Logan, Ambrose Burnside, Carl Schurz, Frank Blair Jr., or James A. Garfield used the party as way to connect with their former men to achieve political office, and Republican politicians who were popular among the soldiers, such as Oliver P. Morton, Samuel J. Kirkwood, Richard Yates, or Cassius M. Clay, used the party as a way to avoid the negative connotations attached to Republicans while still running and holding public office. Eventually, it would be men of the latter category who would guide the Soldier's Party into its merger with the Republican Party. In return, the Republicans frequently had former members of the party on their presidential tickets, and eventual one of them, James A. Garfield, would be elected president of the United States in 1880.

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The Reunionist Party was a United States political party created in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Although often portrayed as a branch off of the Democratic Party due to Thomas H. Seymour including some of their members in his cabinet, the Reunionist Party drew men from both the Republican and Democratic Party, although it did draw more Democrats. The Reunionist Party's goal was to try and negotiate with the CSA and try and find a way to reunite the nation back as one. In this mission, they would fail. As the party began to decline, and its member drifted off to other parties, the remaining members would try one last desperate gamble to stay relevant by endorsing Augustus C. Dodge on his independent run to maintain the presidency. When Dodge lost the election, it became the downfall of the Reunionist Party, as by now, almost everyone in America had come to the realization that the CSA was not looking for reunification on peaceful terms. Of the party, Abraham Lincoln would say "They were a foolhardy party, with a foolhardy mission, with members in denial of the current realities of America, instead looking back to the antebellum days for their guide."
 
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The U.S. Presidential Election of 1864
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The 1864 U.S. Presidential Election, the 20th presidential election in U.S. history, occurred on November 8, 1864. Set in the aftermath of the dissolution of the Union caused by the Confederacy's victory in the American Civil War, it would prove to be one of the most divisive and complex elections in U.S. history. In the end, the Democratic candidate Thomas H. Seymour would manage to win the election with 140 electoral votes, defeating Republican Abraham Lincoln's 67, Reunionist Andrew Johnson's 18, and Soldier's John Logan's 8.

Due to his close association with the loss of the Civil War, many Republicans toyed with the idea of dumping Lincoln for their presidential candidate in the 1864 election, but this was eventually dropped. Lincoln would later face an even bigger threat when Salmon Chase, supported by such luminaries as Charles Sumner, Benjamin Wade, John Fremont, and Henry W. Davis, began crafting an independent run for the presidency based on a platform of at the time radical racial policies. Eventually, Chase would declare his candidacy, with Maryland representative Henry W. Davis as his running-mate. It was only through the negotiations of Senators William P. Fessenden, Lyman Trumbull, and John Sherman that Chase was convinced to drop his run, by Lincoln and his supporters promising to retain Hannibal Hamlin, a radical Republican, on the ticket instead of dropping him for a War Democrat like Lincoln was planning. Despite his unpopularity with the people, Lincoln would face little opposition to his nomination at the Republican National Convention, and both he and Hamlin were easily renominated.

The Democratic National Convention, meanwhile, remained divided. Many candidates entered their names into the race, including Major General George B. McClellan, New York Governor Horatio Seymour, Ohio Senator George H. Pendleton, former Iowa Senator Augustus C. Dodge, and former Indiana Senator David Turpie. Ultimately, the Democrats would go for a dark horse candidate, Connecticut Governor Thomas H. Seymour, who had also served as Minister to Russia and was a veteran of the Mexican-American War. For the vice-presidential nomination, Augustus C. Dodge would beat out George Pendleton and Indiana Representative Daniel W. Voorhees.

With the general public's dissatisfaction with the performance of both of the major parties, the climate was ripe for third party runs, and three major parties would field candidates. The Reunionists would rally around former Tennessee senator and governor Andrew Johnson, who had been the sole Southern senator to remain loyal to the Union. Former postmaster general Montgomery Blair would be chosen as his running-mate in an attempt to appeal to Republicans. The Soldier's Party would nominate former Major General John A. Logan for president, and another former Major General, Ambrose Burnside, for vice-president. The election of 1864 would also witness a revival of the Know-Nothing Party, if only momentarily, as they used anti-immigrant rhetoric to appeal to frustrated native citizens. They would nominate famous inventor Samuel F.B. Morse for president, and former Baltimore mayor Thomas Swann for vice-president.

The campaigning for this election would center, as expected, on the Civil War and the Union's defeat and who to the attach the blame to. Another important issue would be veterans of the Union Army, particularly protecting or rescuing them from poverty caused by the bad current economic situation. In these issues, Lincoln and the Republicans were weak as the war had been lost under their rule, and many veteran riots had been crushed by force under Lincoln's presidency. Seymour, himself a veteran, claimed he understood their plight better than Lincoln, and would put them as his first priority rather than African-Americans. Meanwhile, the third-parties would campaign heavily on the issues that defined their party, with negotiations with the CSA being championed by the Reunionists, veterans by the Soldier's, and anti-immigration laws by the Know-Nothings.

In the end, Seymour would win the election by a decisive margin. His victory would mark the beginning of almost two decades of Democratic rule in the Executive Branch, only to be broken by the victory of James A. Garfield in the 1880 presidential election.
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Attachments

Thomas H. Seymour
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Thomas H. Seymour (September 29, 1807-September 3, 1868) was a Connecticut politician and President of the United States from 1865 to 1868. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Seymour attended a military academy as a youth, but later was admitted to the bar to practice law, which he started doing in his home town. Following the start of the Mexican-American War, Seymour would sign up and eventually achieve the rank of lieutenant colonel for his courageous service in that war. Back home, he would serve as a representative for a term, and then as Connecticut's governor twice, once from 1850 to 1853, and again from 1863 to 1865. During the 1864 Democratic National Convention, he would emerge as dark horse candidate for the presidency, and would eventually win the nomination and the presidency, leading many to compare him to Franklin Pierce, as both men had been New England Democratic dark horse candidates who had won the presidency. Despite his promises on the campaign trail, the economic conditions in the United States remained bad, although they did start to improve somewhat under his watch. As president, he would be most famous for his clashes with his fellow Democrats in Congress, such as Senators Fernando Wood, George Pendleton, and Thomas Hendricks. Many believe this started as a result of Seymour denying Wood the patronage rich position of Postmaster General, and evolved from there. Ultimately, in bad health and having many powerful rivals, he would not seek his party's renomination for the 1868 election, instead hoping to return home and retire. It was during one of these visits home that he would die peaceful during his sleep, elevating Vice-President Augustus C. Dodge to the presidency for the remainder of his term.
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The Know-Nothings clearly didn't do all that well, if they didn't even get into the first infobox.

Huh, so the guy elected President in 1864 still dies in office. Go figure.
 
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