This Week in the Civil War - 582

May 31, 2013

Having received Lincoln’s support over his arrest of the Copperhead agitator Clement Vallandigham, General Ambrose Burnside, commander of the Department of the Ohio, on Monday, June 1, 1863 ordered the Chicago Times newspaper taken over by the military “on account of the repeated expression of disloyal and incendiary sentiments.” 

The suppression of the Times, an anti-Lincoln administration paper, aroused immediate excitement throughout the North. A large number of Chicago’s citizens, including Mayor Francis Sherman, appealed to President Lincoln to rescind Burnside’s actions.

After conferring with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton on the problem of closing newspapers which were clearly hostile to the Union war effort, Lincoln eventually repudiated Burnside’s actions, citing the newspaper’s right to free speech—even if in opposition specifically to him and/or to the Northern war effort.