“Hold On with a Bulldog Grip and
Chew and Choke as Much as Possible”
The Grand Offensive (May–August 1864): The
Spring Offensive is launched. A bogus presidential proclamation calling for
volunteers and prayers causes panic throughout the North. Grant and Lee battle
for six weeks until severe losses force them to a halt. Congressional Radicals
pass a bill that will allow Southern States re-admittance to the Union as long
as they give an oath that they never supported the Confederacy. Southern
leaders spread bogus peace overtures. Lincoln reaffirms his commitment to the
“The Wisest Radical of All”
Reelection (September–November 1864): McClellan
is nominated by Democrats to run against Lincoln. Democrats launch a personal
attack against Abraham and Mary Lincoln. The president defines the significance
of the Union’s cause. Maryland celebrates the Emancipation. The national
election is held despite the war. Lincoln wins a second term.
“Let the Thing Be Pressed”
Victory at Last (November 1864–April 1865): Chase
is appointed Chief of Justice. The Bixby letter is written. Lincoln drafts his
annual message to Congress. The president is hounded by office seekers, only
finding solace in music dramas. Plans are made to secure the 13th amendment.
The Hampton Roads Conference fails to negotiate an end to the war. Lincoln
gives his second inaugural address and visits the army front. Richmond is captured
and the rebels are finally defeated.
“I Feel a Presentiment That I Shall Not Outlast the Rebellion. When
It Is Over, My Work Will Be Done”
The Final Days (April 9–15, 1865): Lincoln
predicts that he will not live long after the war. He begins to deal with the
issues of Reconstruction. The president carries out what is to be his last
public speech and final cabinet meeting. White supremacist John Wilkes Booth is
enraged at the proposal of blacks becoming citizen-voters. His belief in white
superiority and hatred of Republicans drives him to conspire against the
government. On April 14, 1865, Booth assassinates Lincoln in Ford’s Theater.
The nation goes into mourning.
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