Go here and get this book.
It is titled : Copperheads - The Rise and Fall of Lincoln's Opponents in the North
It is written by historian Jennifer Weber. In this book Ms. Weber identifies the “Peace Democrats,” who were the precursors to the Sheehan/Fondas of today.
MacKubin Thomas Owens has a great article on this book at National Review Online.
Please go here and read it for yourself;
A few quotes from both the article and the book...
In contradistinction to the claims of many earlier historians, Weber argues persuasively that the Northern anti-war movement was far from a peripheral phenomenon. Disaffection with the war in the North was widespread and the influence of the Peace Democrats on the Democratic party was substantial. During the election of 1864, the Copperheads wrote the platform of the Democratic party, and one of their own, Rep. George H. Pendleton of Ohio, was the party’s candidate for vice president. Until Farragut’s victory at Mobile Bay, Sherman’s capture of Atlanta, and Sheridan’s success in driving the Confederates from the Shenandoah Valley in the late summer and fall of 1864, hostility toward the war was so profound in the North that Lincoln believed he would lose the election.
It gets worse... Owens writes;
The fact is that many Union soldiers came to despise the Copperheads more than they disdained the Rebels. In the words of an assistant surgeon of an Iowa regiment, “it is a common saying here that if we are whipped, it will be by Northern votes, not by Southern bullets. The army regard the result of the late [fall 1862] elections as at least prolonging the war.”
Weber quotes the response of a group of Indiana soldiers to letters from Copperhead “friends” back home:
Your letter shows you to be a cowardly traitor. No traitor can be my friend; if you cannot renounce your allegiance to the Copperhead scoundrels and own your allegiance to the Government which has always protected you, you are my enemy, and I wish you were in the ranks of my open, avowed, and manly enemies, that I might put a ball through your black heart, and send your soul to the Arch Rebel himself.
I'll add a final quote from Owens for good measure...
For instance, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Rep. Charles Rangel have suggested that soldiers fighting in Iraq are there because they are not smart enough to do anything else. Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois has suggested a similarity between the conduct of U.S. troops in Iraq and that of Nazi soldiers in World War II. His Illinois colleagues, Sen. Barack Obama, claimed that the lives of soldiers lost in Iraq were “wasted.” And recently William Arkin, a military analyst writing online for the Washington Post, said of American soldiers that they are “mercenaries” who had little business taking critics of the war to task.
The Copperheads often abandoned all decency in their pursuit of American defeat in the Civil War. One Connecticut Copperhead told his neighbors that he hoped that all the men who went to fight for the Union cause would “leave their Bones to Bleach on the soil” of the South. The heirs of the Copperheads in today’s Democratic party are animated by the same perverted spirit with regard to the war in Iraq. Nothing captures the essence of today’s depraved Copperhead perspective better than the following e-mail, which unfortunately is only one example of the sort of communication I have received all too often in response to articles of mine over the past few months;
Dear Mr. Owens
You write, "It is hard to conduct military operations when a chorus of eunuchs is describing every action we take as a violation of everything that America stands for, a quagmire in which we are doomed to failure, and a waste of American lives."
But Mr. Owens, I believe that those three beliefs are true. On what grounds can I be barred from speaking them in public? Because speaking them will undermine American goals in Iraq? Bless you, sir, that's what I want to do in the first place. I am confident that U.S. forces will be driven from Iraq, and for that reason I am rather enjoying the war.
But doesn't hoping that American forces are driven from Iraq necessarily mean hoping that Americans soldiers will be killed there? Yes it does. Your soldiers are just a bunch of poor, dumb suckers that have been swindled out of their right to choose between good and evil. Quite a few of them are or will be swindled out of their eyes, legs, arms and lives. I didn't swindle them. President Bush did. If you're going to blame me for cheering their misery, what must you do to President Bush, whose policies are the cause of that misery?
Sounds like the Copperheads are alive and well today...doesn't it?
As for the book... I'm ordering it tomorrow.