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1864 November 19: More on the 1864 Election, Including Returns from the Prescott Guards

November 23, 2014

More on the big event of the autumn—the presidential and local elections.  These items are from the November 19, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.


Definite  news from all the States now show that M’CLELLAN has carried but three states, Kentucky, New Jersey and little Delaware.  [George B. McClellan]

In addition to carrying all the other States for LINCOLN [Abraham Lincoln], the Union party  has gained very largely in Congressmen, and have the Governors and Legislatures of the States.  Next to the success of Mr. LINCOLN, the defeat of SEYMOUR [Horatio Seymour], and the election of FENTON¹ in New York, is cause for congratulation among Union men. The Governor of the Empire State will now act in harmony with the National Administration.

— Readers of Capt. MARRYATT’s² Novels will remember the incident related in “Midshipman Easy” concerning his nurse. She had the misfortune to become a mother before she was a wife, but the poor girl pleaded in extenuation of her offence, that it could not be very wrong, as the babe was “such a very little one.” Copperheads can safely introduce the same plea in extenuation of their conduct. Whatever their purposes and desires may have been, the child which figuratively stands as the result of their labor, is “such a very little one,” that they will be comparatively easily forgiven.


The returns that we have received make it evident that Mr. Lincoln’s majority will certainly be over 400,000.

In 1852, Pierce received a majority of 58,000 of all the votes cast.  In 1856, the majority  against Buchanan [John Buchanan] of all the votes cast was 413,760. In 1860, the majority against Lincoln of all votes cast was 355,658.  In 1864, Mr. Lincoln is re-elected by a majority of over 400,000, of all the votes cast—the largest popular majority ever given to any President.

Not a single free State voted against him, but New Jersey.  The only Slave States outside the rebel lines voted against him.  All the Slave States which have recently emancipated their slaves, voted for him.  This is as it should be—Freedom everywhere is for the Union ;  Slavery everywhere is against it.

Of the 284 votes cast in the Electoral College, Mr. Lincoln will receive 213.—Never was President  so magnificently sustained by the people !—St. Paul Daily Press. 

Majorities in Pierce County. 

We give this week the official vote of Pierce County.  The following are the majorities for the Union Ticket :

.. Lincoln………………………………….. 330
.. McIndoe, Congress……………….. 330
.. McMynn, State Supt. ……………. 651
.. Fulton, Assembly………………….. 334
.. Walsingham, Sheriff…………….. 249
.. Lewis, Register……………………… 363
.. Winchester, Treasurer………….. 300
.. Young, District Attorney……….. 337
.. Winn, Clerk of Board…………….. 370
.. Lewis, Clark of Court…………….. 303
.. Trumbull, Surveyor……………….. 656
.. Amee, Coroner……………………… 333

The largest majorities given for State Superintendent and Surveyor is owing to the fact that there were no candidates for these offices on the Democratic ticket.

From the Camp.

Sergt. Chas. P. Brown, Co. I, 37th, writes from camp near Petersburg, as follows :

“I have the pleasure of announcing 121 majority for Lincoln in this regiment total vote, Lincoln 141 ; McClellan 20.  Co’s. H. and I. drafted three years men, gave every vote for Lincoln.”

Sergt. G. B. Helman [sic], Co. B. 6th Reg. writes³ :

“To day is election.  We have had a glorious Union victory ;  Co. B unanimous for Lincoln and Johnson [Andrew Johnson].  The Reg. gave Lincoln 123. McClellan 37.  The 2nd Wis. was unanimous for Lincoln.  The balance of the “Iron Brigade” have given Lincoln a heavy majority, and if the people at home roll up the large majorities we do, it will turn out the greatest Union victory we have ever had.  Everything is quiet along the front to-day, even the usual picket firing has ceased, making it the quietest days we have had.  A reb. came into our lines this afternoon for the purpose (he said) of finding out how the election is going.

Co. B. are all enjoying good health and are comfortably housed in log cabins but if the weather holds fair, we expect to leave them before long.”

1.  Reuben Eaton Fenton (1819-1885) was elected the 22nd governor of New York in 1864, defeating Horatio Seymour. He served from 1865-1868. In January 1869, he was elected a U.S. Senator from New York and served from 1869 to 1875. In 1872 he was among the Republicans opposed to President Ulysses S. Grant who joined the short-lived Liberal Republican Party. Earlier in his political career he had been a Democrat and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 1853-1855, and then elected as a Republican, serving from 1857-1865.
2.  Frederick Marryat (1792-1848) was a British Royal Navy officer, novelist, and an acquaintance of Charles Dickens, noted today as an early pioneer of the sea story. He is now known particularly for the semi-autobiographical novel Mr Midshipman Easy and his children’s novel The Children of the New Forest, and for a widely used system of maritime flag signalling, known as Marryat’s Code.
3.  Company B of the 6th Wisconsin Infantry, you may recall, was the Prescott Guards. G.B. Helman should be George R. Clements, from Prescott. In 1865 Sergeant Clements will become the captain of Company G, 50th Wisconsin Infantry.

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