The Civil War was really about states rights so in one aspect you can say the War was really lost by both sides. It was the beginning of the death of Federalism. Though history looks at it as a victory and it truly was.
It kept the nation together, and ended slavery in the civilized world.
But let no one sell you this crap about this wise man that fought a war for the nobility of freeing a race of people. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Lincoln was the Bastard of all Bastards, and he got himself written into history as one of the greatest presidents. He was a brilliant man with a set of iron balls that must have clanked when he walked.
He won the Presidency through the Lincoln -Douglas Debates which no modern politician would do today they actually spoke about issues, imagine that.
Drawing on remnants of the old Whig, Free Soil, Liberty and Democratic parties, he was instrumental in forming the new Republican Party. In a stirring campaign, the Republicans carried Illinois in 1854 and elected a senator. Lincoln was the obvious choice, but to keep the new party balanced he allowed the election to go to an ex-Democrat Lyman Trumbull. How many of today's egocentric gits that run for office would give someone else their seat for the good of the party.
With the emergence of the Republicans as the nation's first major sectional party by the mid-1850s, politics became the stage on which sectional tensions were played out. Although much of the West – the focal point of sectional tensions – was unfit for cotton cultivation, Southern secessionists read the political fallout as a sign that their power in national politics was rapidly weakening. Before, the slave system had been buttressed to an extent by the Democratic Party, which was increasingly seen as representing a more pro-Southern position that unfairly permitted Southerners to prevail in the nation's territories and to dominate national policy before the Civil War. But they suffered a significant reverse in the electoral realignment of the mid-1850s. 1860 was a critical election that marked a stark change in existing patterns of party loyalties among groups of voters; Abraham Lincoln's election was a watershed in the balance of power of competing national and parochial interests and affiliations.
The North and the West were becoming Industrial but industry and oil were still in their infancy. The nation needed the Cotton revenue.
Douglas had infected a few to many people that believed as a democracy they could succeed if they chose. This of course was bull. A house divided can not stand.
To preserve the house Lincoln did what he had to do. The birth of the Republican Party was a death knell to the Democrat party at the time, and Seven States declared they would secede if Lincoln won the Election. When he did win both Lincoln and his predecessor Buchanan refused to recognize the Confederacy.
President-elect Lincoln evaded possible assassins in Baltimore, and on February 23, 1861, arrived in disguise in Washington, D.C. At his inauguration on March 4, 1861, the German American Turners (What today would be special forces) formed Lincoln's bodyguard; and a sizable garrison of federal troops was also present, ready to protect the capital from Confederate invasion and local insurrection.
By the time Lincoln took office, the Confederacy was an established fact, and no leaders of the insurrection proposed rejoining the Union on any terms. No compromise was found because a compromise was deemed virtually impossible. Buchanan might have allowed the southern states to secede, and some Republicans recommended that. However, conservative Democratic nationalists, such as Jeremiah S. Black, Joseph Holt, and Edwin M. Stanton had taken control of Buchanan's cabinet around January 1, 1861, and refused to accept secession. Lincoln and nearly every Republican leader adopted this position by March 1861: the Union could not be dismantled.
"I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." ... My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views. I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free."
The Emancipation Proclamation, announced on September 22, 1862 and put into effect on January 1, 1863, freed slaves in territories not already under Union control. As Union armies advanced south, more slaves were liberated until all of them in Confederate territory (over three million) were freed. Lincoln later said: "I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper." The proclamation made the abolition of slavery in the rebel states an official war goal. Lincoln then threw his energies into passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to permanently abolish slavery throughout the nation.
This is when the fun really began Lincoln Tossed away the Right of Habeus Corpus, which meant he could have you locked up and never even charge you. And he did it several times.
One person running for Governor of Ohio Clement Laird Vallandigham, was so outspoken that Lincoln had him locked up and deported to Canada. When he continued to rabble rouse in Canada they threw him out and Lincoln locked him back up.
The war was getting Bloodier and bloodier with each major engagement. Gettysburg was so bad no one wanted to join And when getting people to join was next to impossible they used a very political draft to fill the ranks. This draft caused riots from the Irish in NY during which the navy was ordered to fire on the cities Irish quarter to end the rioting.
Lincoln during the war was plagued by Generals who refused to engage the enemy the worst of these was McClellan (the man who truly invented hurry up and wait) He had several chances to end the war and refused to engage the enemy.
In walks Grant, Grant first reached national prominence by taking Forts Henry and Donelson in 1862 in the first Union victories of the war. The following year, his celebrated campaign ending in the surrender of Vicksburg secured Union control of the Mississippi and—with the simultaneous Union victory at Gettysburg—turned the tide of the war in the North's favor.
Named commanding general of the Federal armies in 1864, he implemented a coordinated strategy of simultaneous attacks aimed at destroying the South's ability to carry on the war. He Ordered Sherman's March to the Sea one of the greatest campaigns ever. In 1865, after conducting a costly war of attrition in the East, he accepted the surrender of his Confederate opponent Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House.
Many of the politicians and other Generals hated Grant and complained incessantly to Lincoln that he was allowing the war to be run by a Drunkard. Lincolns response was "find out what he's drinking and send a case to every commander I've got"
There was no bi-partisanship in Lincoln's government, Which made me laugh today when Obama said there was. If you spoke against the war you were locked up period.
Lincoln stuck to his guns and lead the country through it's bloodiest war and never flinched.
God Bless you President Lincoln, we need politicians of your fortitude now. As the nation is on the very eve of self destruction, once again at the hand of the Democrat Party.