Soldiers in the Civil War used the latest advancements in military technology. The repeating rifle and improved bullets made it possible to launch deadlier attacks from farther away than before. Early submarines tested the waters of undersea warfare. The telegraph allowed President Abraham Lincoln to get important messages from officers in the field.
The advances weren’t limited to battle. The 1864 presidential contest was the first general election held by any nation during a major conflict. In order to vote, Union soldiers relied on two of the most significant developments in American voting: paper ballots and absentee voting. At polling stations in military camps, soldiers from more than a dozen states cast pre-printed tickets that listed candidates from one party or another. Voters