On February 26, 1863, Andrew Johnson delivered a speech to a pro-Union convention in Indianapolis, during which he strongly criticized Confederate leaders for seceding from the Union. Before the Civil War, Johnson had been a Democratic Senator from Tennessee.
He was the only Southern Senator not to resign at the war’s outbreak in 1861. In 1862, President Lincoln appointed Johnson to serve as military governor of Tennessee, then occupied by Union forces.
During his Indianapolis speech, Johnson supported the President’s wartime policies, including his emancipation proclamation, in spite of the fact that he had at one time owned slaves. In 1864, President Lincoln would nominated Johnson to serve as his Vice President. He would go on to succeed the President after his assassination in the following year.