Confederate Organizations

Confederate Organizations - Ben Pigg and Shane Merriman 2...

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Ben Pigg and Shane Merriman 2 The Copperheads The Copperheads were a Confederate organization that opposed the Republicans, including President Lincoln; they also were in favor of slavery and fought to keep it. They burned the homes, beat, killed, and mobbed supporters of the Union. The name Copperheads originated after its members cut out the Liberty Head on pennies and wore them as necklaces, or as badges. Some of the Copperheads members were not Confederates; some were just Democrats that opposed Lincoln. As the war went on, the Copperheads became more displeased with the war effort. They disliked the Republican economic policies, mainly the National Banking System. The Copperheads motto was, “The Constitution as it is, and the Union as it was.” This showed that they wanted the nation to return to the way they used to be and to leave the South alone. There were Copperhead organizations in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. Many Copperheads proclaimed that the “Lincoln Administration
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3 had sold its soul to the New York Capitalists and New England manufactures.” The Copperheads became more powerful. They obtained more and more party positions. The numbers of general members grew, too. Copperheads were not the only people disloyal to the Union. Since there was so much disloyalty, Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus , or the right of a person to see a judge for an investigation of a restraint of a persons liberty. The suspension of this law caused many arguments and trouble around the nation. As the Copperheads grew more numerous, people who supported the war began to worry. Copperheads “sought to gain control of the political machinery and to turn the populace against the party and power,” wrote Clement L. Vallandingham, who was an Ohio senator. Copperheads were starting to do just that. Lincoln and the rest of the nation came to believe that the Copperhead were too powerful. “Warnings were issued that for every conspiring Copperhead, there was a tree or a lamppost from which if needed to be, he could be hanged,” wrote another historian, Wood Gray. When Copperheadism in the West started to peak, many
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westerners were shocked when General Ambrose E. Burnside arrested Clement Vallandingham. The Copperheads were 4 outraged at this. Violence broke out across the Midwest. Copperheads not only terrorized individuals, but attacked entire communities. Such attacks prompted a list called “the crimes of the Copperheads.” Civilians were not the only people mobbed by the Copperheads. For example, the 54 th Illinois regiment was attacked by Copperheads. The Copperheads were led by Sheriff John H. O’Hare. As a result six Union soldiers were killed and four were wounded. Five Copperheads were killed and five were wounded. In Illinois 2,001 Copperheads were arrested between June 1 and October 10, 1861. Many deserters in the war were influenced by the Copperheads.
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5 The Leaders The most prominent Copperhead leader was Clement L. Valladigham
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Confederate Organizations - Ben Pigg and Shane Merriman 2...

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