From Antietam to Chancellorsville: September 1862 to May 1863

The Emancipation Proclamation

What was Lincoln waiting for?

He had to see what would happen during the off-year elections of 1862. By most reports, the Democratic Party was gaining strength in most areas, and Lincoln and his Republicans were on the defensive. There was already talk, in New York City, of running McClellan for president in 1864.

The election returns came in piece by piece (there was no one single election day that year). Right from the start, it was obvious that the Democrats had gained ground, though perhaps not as much as they hoped. Lincoln’s good friend Orville Browning lost his Senate seat from Illinois, and there were other “casualties,” but the Republicans retained control of both Houses of Congress. That was what Lincoln needed to see, and he finally sacked McClellan on November 7, 1862.


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