This Week in the Civil War - 484

Jan 15, 2013

On January 14, 1863, Congressman Clement Vallandigham of Ohio gave a speech to the House of Representatives, which was highly critical of President Lincoln’s handling of the Civil War.  Vallandigham denounced the President’s alleged suspension of civil liberties and due process.  He also predicted: “You have not conquered the South. You never will.”  

In response, President Lincoln asked why simple soldiers must be shot for desertion, while alleged traitors like Vallandigham would go unpunished.  On May 5, Vallandigham was arrested and eventually deported to the Confederacy. 

Vallandigham would become a widely reviled example of the copperhead, a stealthy but deadly snake, a metaphor for all allegedly Confederate sympathizers in the North.  Be that as it may, the unapologetic Vallandigham would return to public life in Ohio after the war.