Allen Guelzo, Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and director of Civil War Era Studies, wrote a June 5 post for the New York Times’ Disunion blog about the challenges President Abraham Lincoln faced in the lead-up to the presidential election of 1864.
From the NY Times' Disunion:
The Political War
Pity Abraham Lincoln. Everything that should have gone right for the Union cause in the spring of 1864 had, in just a few weeks, gone defiantly and disastrously wrong.
For two years, the 16th president had toiled uphill against the secession of the Confederate states, against the incompetence of his luckless generals and against his howling critics from both sides of the congressional aisle. Finally, in the summer and fall of 1863, the course of the war had begun to turn his way. Two great victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg staggered the Confederates, and those were followed by a knockdown blow delivered at Chattanooga by the man who was fast becoming Lincoln’s favorite general, Ulysses S. Grant. “The signs look better,” Lincoln rejoiced, “Peace does not appear so distant as it did.”