The state of New York during the American Civil War was a major influence in national politics, the Union war effort, and the media coverage of the war. New York was the most populous state in the Union during the Civil War, and provided more troops to the U.S. army than any other state, as well as several significant military commanders and leaders. New York sent 400,000 men to the armed forces during the war. 22,000 soldiers died from combat wounds; 30,000 died from disease or accidents; 36 were executed. The state government spent $38 million on the war effort; counties, cities and towns spent another $111 million, especially for recruiting bonuses.
The voters were sharply divided politically. A significant anti-war movement emerged, particularly in the mid- to late-war years. The Democrats were divided between War Democrats who supported the war and Copperheads who wanted an early peace. Republicans divided between moderates who supported Lincoln, and Radical Republicans who demanded harsh treatment of the rebel states. New York provided William H. Seward as Lincoln's Secretary of State, as well as several important voices in Congress. (Full article...)
In 1884, McCreary was elected to the first of six consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. As a legislator, he was an advocate of free silver and a champion of the state's agricultural interests. After two failed bids for election to the Senate, McCreary secured the support of Governor J. C. W. Beckham, and in 1902, the General Assembly elected him to the Senate. He served one largely undistinguished term, and Beckham then successfully challenged him for his Senate seat in 1908. The divide between McCreary and Beckham was short-lived, however, and Beckham supported McCreary's election to a second term as governor in 1911. (Full article...)