The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation by Brenda Wineapple:
In Nashville, cannons boomed out the good news. Vice-presidential nominee Andrew Johnson addressed a jubilant crowd in front of the St. Cloud Hotel. “Let the war for the Union go on,” he shouted, “and the Stars and Stripes be bathed, if need be, in a nation’s blood, till law be restored, and freedom firmly established.”
But he wanted nothing to do with negro equality. Work, yes: the free people might work—and “make something for themselves”—if they could. He said it again: he wanted nothing to do with equality. As for slavery and those rebels who accused him of helping to abolish it, he reminded the crowd that he had warned everyone that slavery would be better protected inside the Union than out of it. And it wasn’t Lincoln who’d freed the slaves. And certainly he didn’t free the slaves. The South freed the slaves. The decision to secede had freed them.