Campaign flag supporting Republican candidates Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson.
Lincoln had good reason to doubt his chances for reelection. No president since Andrew Jackson in 1832 had won a second term.
The Democratic Party nominated Gen. George McClellan, whom Lincoln had removed from command. McClellan ran on an anti-Lincoln and anti-Emancipation Proclamation platform and left open the possibility of a negotiated peace with the South.
As the election approached, Union triumphs on the battlefield helped propel Lincoln to victory. He declared the election results a mandate to press on for an unconditional victory and a constitutional amendment to end slavery.