Thursday, December 27, 2012

Civil War Oddities #68

Daily prodding by New York Tribune headlines that demanded “on to Richmond” probably contributed to the Federal fiasco at Bull Run in July 1861. Publisher Horace Greely heartily supported the war effort at that time, but he parted company with Lincoln over the issue of slavery.

Former warmonger Greeley, whose newspaper is widely regarded as having been the most influential in the nation, eventually headed a Northern movement whose aim was to affect a negotiated peace. After the war, he signed the bail bond of Jefferson Davis despite warnings that such a move could cut circulation of the Tribune in half.

Nominated for the presidency by liberal Republicans in 1872 and supported by Democrats, Greely might have gone to the White House had his opponent been anyone other than Ulysses S. Grant.