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War Democrats in American politics of the 1860s were adherents of the Democratic Party who opposed the majority of that party to support the military policies of President Abraham Lincoln in the American Civil War. In the 1864 presidential election, War Democrats and the Republicans jointly nominated Lincoln, a Republican, for president and nominated Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, for vice president in what was called the "Union Party" ticket.

To court Democrats, Lincoln appointed many to high civil and military offices to win over some Democratic votes. Some joined the Republican Party, while others remained Democrats. Their opponents in the Democratic party included Peace Democrats, widely called Copperheads, Democrats who remained loyal to the concept of Union but either advocated negotiated settlement with the Confederacy or openly supported the "state's rights" underpinnings of the Confederate policy.

Prominent War Democrats included:


  • Silbey, Joel H. A Respectable Minority: The Democratic Party in the Civil War Era, 1860-1868 (1977)


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