A very sad chapter for Republicans happened after the civil war when they grew tired of Reconstruction expenses and "cut and ran" from the South. Unfortunately this gave the KKK a free hand to act as the terrorist wing of the Democratic party and restore Democratic control to the Southern states. It wasn't until Nixon came along with his Southern stategy to split the South between Wallace voters and Humphrey voters that Republicans regained control in many southern states. Gotta love those third parties. ;-)
I agree. We discuss this in "Patriot's History of the United States"---how the only solution that would have given the freedmen 40 acres and a mule legally would have been for Lincoln to label the rebels, well, rebels guilty of treason. Now, if he had done that, he could have given large-scale pardons to the vast majority of southerners and used it to break up the plantations of the wealthy slaveowner planters. It would have been legal, constitutional, and would have saved us all a LOT of trouble.