actually, wasn't it the republicans that originally thought "outside of the box"?
From 1854, when the Republican Party was founded, Democrats labeled it adherents "black" Republicans to identify them as proponents of black equality. During the 1860 elections Southern Democrats used the term derisively to press their belief that Abraham Lincoln's victory would incite slave rebellions in the South and lead to widespread miscegenation. The image the term conveyed became more hated in the South during Reconstruction as Radical Republicans forced legislation repugnant to Southerners and installed Northern Republicans or Unionists in the governments of the former Confederate states.
Source: "Historical Times Encyclopedia of the Civil War"
The Republican party in 1861 was a coalition of disparate elements. Formed only 7 years earlier, it contained men who had been Whigs, Anti-Slavery Democrats, Free-Soilers, Know-Nothings, and Abolitionists. By the outbreak of the war, these fragments had coalesced into 3 basic factions: conservatives, moderates, and radicals. President Abraham Lincoln's task was to mold these factions into a government that could win the war without destroying the South politically and economically.
The most aggressive and, eventually, most influential of the three was the Radical Republican faction. All Republicans were against slavery, but this group was the most "radical", in its opposition to the "peculiar institution." While conservatives favored gradual emancipation combined with colonization of Freedmen, and while moderates favored emancipation but with reservations, Radicals favored immediate eradication of an institution they viewed as iniquitous, and saw the war as a crusade for "Abolition."
Men of little patience and less tolerance, the Radicals advocated an implacable, uncompromising prosecution of the war against the Southern rebellion, and were in the forefront of such issues and legislation as the Confiscation Acts, emancipation, the enlistment of blacks, the 13th Amendment, and Reconstruction policies. Though Lincoln, a moderate, eventually sided with the Radicals on a number of key issues, such as emancipation, many Radicals opposed his renomination in 1864 primarily because of their differences regarding Reconstruction. Certain generals also faced Radical opposition, not because of the officers military abilities but because of their political views. Radicals dominated the Committee on the Conduct of the War, which investigated military matters. Gen. George B. McClellan, in particular, was an anathema to Radicals.
this came from some crazy civil war site. anywho, i don't know how accurate it is but it sure is interesting.
The Republicans And The Civil War