Copperhead & Candidate for Ohio Governorship Arrested

May 3, 1863/2013
Volume 4, Issue 18 (134 Issues Since 15 October 2010)

Prominent Copperhead and Candidate for Ohio Governorship Arrested by Military Officials

Representative Clement Laird Vallandigham of Ohio, courtesy Library of Congress

Representative Clement Laird Vallandigham of Ohio, courtesy Library of Congress

On May 5, 1863, military officials in Dayton arrested Clement Vallandigham, a candidate for governor of Ohio and prominent “Copperhead” or Democrat who favored a negotiated peace with the South. He openly encouraged soldiers to desert. He was tried before a military tribunal and convicted, which cased an uproar among Northern Democrats. When a judge denied a motion for a writ of habeas corpus, “Lincoln declared the decision to be worth three victories in the field. ‘Must I shoot a simple-minded soldier boy who deserts,’ Lincoln later explained, ‘while I must not touch a hair of a wiley agitator who induces him to desert? I think . . . to silence the agitator, and save the boy, is not only constitutional, but . . . a great mercy.'”

President Lincoln wanted to avoid making Vallandigham martyr to the Copperhead cause, and so instead of confining him in a military prison for his two-year sentence, Lincoln ordered him sent through the lines to the Confederacy. From Tennessee, Vallandigham travelled to Canada, where he declared himself a candidate for governor of Ohio and won the Democratic nomination.

– Submitted by Lyn Blackwell

SOURCE

Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography, Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., et al, p. 210.


Stonewall Jackson Succumbs to Wounds

General Jackson's "Chancellorsville" Portrait, taken at a Spotsylvania County farm on April 26, 1863, seven days before he was wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville.

General Jackson’s “Chancellorsville” Portrait, taken at a Spotsylvania County farm on April 26, 1863, seven days before he was wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville.

May 10, 1863. The South suffered a huge blow as one of its ablest generals, Stonewall Jackson, died from his wounds suffered eight days earlier at the Battle of Chancellorsville. His left arm had been amputated, but pneumonia set in. His last words were, “Let us pass over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.”

“I have lost my right arm,” Lee lamented. “I know not how to replace him.”

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Filed under Civil War Book of Days: 1863

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