This Week in the Civil War - 580

May 29, 2013

On Friday, May 29, 1863 General Ambrose Burnside, Union commander at Cincinnati, offered his unconditional resignation to Lincoln as a result of the arrest, conviction, and banishment of Clement Vallandigham, the Northern Copperhead leader. 

Lincoln refused to accept Burnside’s resignation even though Indiana Governor Oliver Morton and other politicians had protested Vallandigham’s arrest on the grounds that it increased opposition to the war in the critical, border states along the Ohio River.

The president refused to blame Burnside for taking action against Vallandigham and praised his general.  Ironically, four days later in Richmond, Virginia President Jefferson Davis ordered Vallandigham, deported to the South by Lincoln, put under guard at Wilmington, North Carolina as an “enemy alien.”  Apparently Davis did not trust Vallandigham’s loyalty any more than Lincoln did.