Diary of Orrin Brown, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Clear and warm–our town have their quota full and the boys have their discharge and start home this afternoon. I have two friends here yet from Pipestone but they have got furloughs and are going home tonight so I am left alone. We had two rousing war speeches this evening, one from a soldier the other from the Hon. Mr. Plimpton of Niles we also held an election in the barracks it resulted in 60 for Lincoln and 26 for Me so that the boys go to bed with light hearts.
President Abraham Lincoln’s re-election in 1864 was by no means assured. What had first looked to both sides to be a quick little contest became the national tragedy of the Civil War, four years on at this point. A group of Republicans, pressing for more radical action, nominated popular former Senator, General John C. Frémont for the Presidency, in reprise of his nomination as the Republican Party’s first candidate in 1856. Democrats, split among themselves, nominated General George B. McClellan who personally opposed the party’s peace platform. Despite his failings as a commander, McClellan had blocks of support in the North. Fremont withdrew in September 1864, however, after the fall of Atlanta, securing a solid block of Union votes for Lincoln in November.