By the time of Lincoln’s inauguration, seven southern states had seceded; Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as their President. A last effort by John Crittenden to save the Union failed, and the Civil War officially began when the South fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston SC.
While popular opinion in the North solidified behind Lincoln after he called for troops to quell the rebellion, the Republican Party failed to sustain its popular support when the North failed to win the war quickly. In the elections of 1862, the Speaker of the U.S. House was defeated for re-election, and the Democratic Party made great gains throughout the North.
The more radical Republicans feared that Lincoln was leading the Party to sure defeat. They called a national convention in 1864 and nominated John C. Fremont for President.
The Republican Party met in Baltimore and nominated Lincoln again. The delegates replaced VP Hamlin with the southern unionist Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, the only southern Senator who remained in Congress after 1861.
The Democrats chose George McClellan, former general of the Union forces who had been removed by Lincoln twice for failing to take the initiative against the South. For the vice presidential nod the Democrats chose U.S. Rep. George H. Pendleton of Ohio, a relative of Roger B. Taney and Francis Scott Key.
At the time of the Democratic convention, Republican editors were urging both Lincoln and Fremont to withdraw and call another c