While lethargy may have seized the Northern electorate during the winter months of early 1864, Abraham Lincoln remained absolutely committed to winning the civil war. On Monday, February 1, 1864 the president ordered that 500,000 Northerners be drafted on March 10 to serve for a period of three years or for the duration of the war.
He acted under the terms of a conscription act passed by Congress in March 1863. Clearly, Lincoln desired a larger Northern army which would overwhelm and defeat the Confederacy as quickly as possible. On the same day Congress passed an act reviving the rank of lieutenant general.
Congress had General Ulysses Grant, the conqueror of Vicksburg, in mind for a promotion to lead an expanded Union army to victory over the Confederacy.