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Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln's Opponents in the by Jennifer L. Weber

By Jennifer L. Weber

If Civil struggle battlefields observed tremendous carnage, the Northern home-front was once itself faraway from tranquil. Fierce political debates set groups on part, spurred mystery plots opposed to the Union, and caused common violence, akin to the hot York urban draft riots. And on the center of all this turmoil stood Northern anti-war Democrats, nicknamed "Copperheads." Now, Jennifer L. Weber bargains the 1st full-length portrait of this strong faction to seem in nearly part a century. Weber unearths how the Copperheads got here perilously on the subject of defeating Lincoln and finishing the warfare within the South's prefer. certainly, by way of the summer season of 1864, they'd grown so robust that Lincoln himself suggestion his defeat used to be "exceedingly likely." Passionate defenders of civil liberties and states' rights--and usually virulent racists--the Copperheads deplored Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus, his liberal interpretation of the structure, and, such a lot vehemently, his strikes towards emancipation. Weber unearths how the conflict over those matters grew so heated, rather within the Midwest, that Northerners feared their associates may smash their cattle, burn their houses, even kill them. certainly, a few Copperheads went as far as to conspire with accomplice forces and plan armed insurrections, together with an try and release an rebellion in the course of the Democratic conference in Chicago. eventually, Weber illuminates the function of Union squaddies, who, livid at Copperhead assaults at the conflict attempt, moved firmly at the back of Lincoln. the warriors' help for the embattled president stored him alive politically in his darkest occasions, and their victories at the battlefield secured his re-election. Disgraced after the struggle, the Copperheads melted into the shadows of background. right here, Jennifer L. Weber illuminates their dramatic tale. filled with sharp remark and clean interpretations, Copperheads is a gripping account of the fierce dissent that Lincoln referred to as "the hearth within the rear."

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3 percent of the total vote, placing no better than third in any county in the state. In Illinois, his best showing was in Union County, in the southern tip of the state, where he placed second. In Dubuque County, Iowa, the home county of Dennis Mahoney, one of the most notorious Copperhead editors in the North, Breckinridge received a mere 1 percent of the vote. He logged similar numbers in the counties bordering the Ohio River in the Buckeye State. On the other hand, he took second place in three of Connecticut’s eight counties and two Maine counties.

GENERALLY SPEAKING, men who were from the South or whose parents had emigrated from the South were more likely to have reservations about the war than their neighbors who were born in Northern states. While statistics about parents’ state of origin are impossible to find, census-takers did record state of birth in 1860. It quickly becomes apparent that many of the areas where flare-ups over the war occurred had significant numbers of Southern-born “Butternuts”: the southern tier of Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio, and areas along the rivers or southern border of Iowa.

Many men in Indiana were less sanguine, though. They took precautions against the perceived threat of their Unionist neighbors by banding together in mutual protection societies. In Terre Haute, one such society included former Democratic congressman John G. Davis and his successor, Daniel W. Voorhees, among its members. 27 WHILE NORTHERNERS WERE COMING TO TERMS with the idea that their neighbors might mean them harm, yet another issue was simmering in the Old Northwest: Western secession. This could mean joining the Confederacy or breaking off and forming a third nation from the old Union.

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