Are you weary of the Civil War Sesquicentennial? Ready for it to be over? Not sure why any more activity is happening after these several long years of commemoration?
On July 18, 1864, an election year, after the initial losses in the Overland campaign had ensued, President Lincoln issued a proclamation. Did he promise to negotiate with the Confederacy? Did he call a cease-fire, admitting that the war was too costly? Neither. His order called for the loyal states to raise another half-million men to go into uniform and finish the Civil War in victory. He was not alone; his order was in pursuance of an act of Congress of July 4, 1864, giving him this authority. July of 1864 was a key month of decision: go forward, or not.
There were discussions going on about a possible negotiated peace. Jefferson Davis insisted in any negotiation that an outcome must be independence; Lincoln insisted on restoration of the Union, no independence, no dividing up of the nation. Anti-war advocates in the North looked to the Union "as it was" rather than one in which the American adage "all men are created equal and endowed with their Creator with certain inalienable rights" would be brought closer to reality.
Michigan's response to Lincoln's call was a stalwart one. Yours truly will have the honor of making a presentation at Delta College in the Fall on this very topic.
Determination was the Union watchword. Perseverance was the Michigan story.