James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
in Union members of Congress. These elections manifested a tendency of public opinion which pointed almost conclusively to Lincolns election in November. The tide had turned and now it was again accelerated by Sheridan, who infused a considerable enthusiasm into the last weeks of the canvass by gaining a further and spectacular victory on the nineteenth of October. Sheridans Ride, a poem written by Thomas Buchanan Read and read by Murdoch at many gatherings, not only won votes but made a lasting impression on the minds of men. With great pleasure, telegraphed Lincoln to Sheridan, I tender to you and your brave army the thanks of the nation and my own personal admiration and gratitude for the months operations in the Shenandoah Valley; and especially for the splendid work of October 19, 1864.1
On November 8 the Presidential election took place. Lincoln carried States sufficient to give him 212 electoral votes, while McClellan would receive only 21, those of New Jersey, Delaware and Kentucky. In but one large State, New York, was there a close contest. Lincoln had a majority of the popular vote of 494,567. Moreover, the Lincoln party chose two-thirds of the House of Representatives.
I give you joy of the election, wrote Emerson to a friend. Seldom in history was so much staked on a popular vote. I suppose never in history.2 Grant was deeply impressed with the vast importance and significance of the Presidential electionthe quiet and orderly character of the whole affair. There was, added Hay, no bloodshed or riot. It proves our worthiness of free institutions and our capability of preserving them without running into anarchy or despotism.3