Booze was a central part of America's war with itself. Slavery, after all, was not just a part of the South's agricultural economy -- it was also part of the triangle trade that brought molasses to Massachusetts. In the White House, alcohol didn't show up on Abraham Lincoln's table -- he was a teetotaler -- but it played a big part in the events that brought him to the presidency. Lincoln's father had worked at a farm in Knob Creek, Kentucky, near a creek that fed what later became the Knob Creek bourbon distillery. As for Lincoln himself, he owned several stores that sold liquor.
Lincoln's ability to straddle the fence on alcohol came in handy when it came time for him to deal with his generals. When some of Ulysses Grant's critics claimed that the general was an alcoholic, Lincoln supposedly told them "By the way, gentlemen, can either of you tell me where General Grant procures his whiskey ? Because, if I can find out, I will send every general in the field a barrel of it!" As a side note, General Grant's preferred brand was, allegedly, Old Crow.