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The Election of 1868: Grant and the "Bloody Shirt"

The presidential election of 1868 was informed heavily by the politics of Reconstruction over the preceding three years. Following Lincoln's assassination, Tennessee native Andrew Johnson ascended to the presidency and dealt with a Congress divided by how to resolve issues with the South. The Democratic Party, associated with the South, had little influence outside of the former Confederation but continued to lobby for forgiveness of Civil War crimes. The Republican Party was split into a moderate and a Radical faction, which fought over how far to go with punishing Southern leaders. Johnson attempted to negotiate a middle path but his Republican brethren were in no position to accept compromise. Johnson's vetoes against Radical Republican legislation were met with overrides and Johnson underwent impeachment procedures in the Senate in May 1868. The impeachment effort failed by one vote, 35-19, but his actions against dissenting voices within his cabinet proved to confirm his undoing.

The Radical Republican efforts to impeach Johnson and discredit anyone who wanted to show sympathy to the South helped draw in a major American figure. General Ulysses S Grant, who had been a successful Union leader and accepted the Southern surrender at Appomattox Court, wanted to help the freed blacks in the South and resolve political issues in the war-torn states. Grant was embroiled within the Johnson impeachment crisis, as Grant was the temporary war secretary in place of Edwin Stanton, who was fired for aiding Johnson's political foes. Johnson fought with Grant when he abdicated to Stanton the war secretary position, seeing the former general as a coward and a traitor. The subsequent firing of Stanton and the impeachment proceedings indicated the end of the Johnson era and the potential for a Grant presidency.

Ulysses Grant was nominated as the Republican candidate in 1868, replacing the exceedingly unpopular Johnson. The Democrats, reeling from the damage done during the Civil War, nominated Horatio Seymour of New York to run for president. Grant did little campaigning, while Seymour traveled the country trying to reassure the public that the South wanted to fully return to the Union and the Democrats were pledged to total loyalty. This was unsuccessful, as the Grant campaign waved "the bloody shirt," a euphemism for reminding the voters about what the South, and the Democratic Party, did to the nation. Grant won 53% of the popular vote and 214 of a possible 294 electoral votes. His promise to return the nation to peace was reassuring following such a tumultuous decade.

And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave commandment. and he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. and hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." These types of Mysteries are forced upon us by the facts of God's Word. We do not invent them ourselves. Since His written revelation teaches concepts that appear to be mutually exclusive, we must realize that with God both truths are friends, not enemies. In God's higher rationality, things that we think must be either one or the other can in reality be both.and according to II Thess. 2:13 that is made very plain to us. We find both truths in the same verse with each carrying equal weight. They are both a part of the Gift of Salvation. It says; "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: " KJV (highlight mine)

The truth mentioned here is The Gospel of The Birth, Death and Resurrection of The Lord Jesus that paid the price of our sins

It is obvious to me that we are not so smart and informed that we can make the choice to come to God when ever we decide to do so unless He has brought us to that point. (Jn.6:44), You can not do it on your own. (Rom.3:11-12

Acts 13:48 NIV says this; "When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed."

This is an act of the Sovereignty of God.

He leads us to make that choice; (Phil.1:29,(Eph.1:4)

The biblical texts involved in predestination/

election and free will are difficult and appear to conflict. Here we must especially seek unity in diversity and charity in all things. As a practical consequence, whether you believe my faith was my choice or not, I hope you'll agree that I am a Christian. Wherever we may disagree on motives and choices, we MUST AGREE that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Our Salvation is based on our faith in His shed blood for our sins and Not of Any Works of our own Merit (Eph.2:8-9)

  1. S. Lewis was right when he wrote: If time is a line on a page, God is the page. So long as we're on the page with him, all is well.

Some evidences of salvation can be found in these verses (Romans 8:9-11, Ephesians 1:13, 1 John 3:24)

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