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 Posted: Sun May 26th, 2013 06:33 am
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Texas Defender

Joined: Sat Jan 27th, 2007
Location: Texas USA
Posts: 920

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  A highly controversial figure during the Civil War was an Ohio politician named Clement L. Vallandigham. Mr. Vallandigham was a lawyer and the editor of a newspaper. He was a member of the Ohio State Legislature during the 1840s.

  In 1858, Mr. Vallandigham won election as a member of the U.S. House of representatives, and he was re-elected in 1860. At that time, he was a supporter of Stephen A. Douglas, though he did not support Mr. Douglas' idea of: "Popular sovereignty."

  Mr. Vallandigham was a severe critic of Mr. Lincoln and his policies. He believed that the Federal Government had no right to interfere with the institution of slavery. He also believed that states had the right to secede from the Union. He did not believe that the Federal Government had the right to conquer the CSA militarily.

  Mr. Vallandigham supported the ill-fated Crittenden Compromise and opposed every military bill, leading some to charge that he wished the CSA to win the war. He gave incendiary speeches denouncing Mr. Lincoln's encroachment on civil liberties of citizens. He proposed an armistice between the opposing sides. He was highly critical of the Emancipation Proclamation, saying that it evolved the war into a war to benefit the Negro.

  Due in part to re-districting, Mr. Vallandigham lost his seat in the 1862 midterm election. He was outraged by General Ambrose Burnside's General Order Number 38. (At that time, General Burnside commanded the Department of the Ohio). General Burnside declared that he would not tolerate anyone: "Declaring sympathy for the enemy." Vallandigham responded by giving a speech on 01 May 1863 saying that the liberty of U.S. citizens was being violated for: "King Lincoln" to free the slaves.

  General Burnside responded to this by having Mr. Vallandigham arrested on 05 May. He was charged with violation of General Order Number 38, and tried by a military court. Vallandigham was found guilty and ordered to be confined at Ft. Warren. A great protest against this ensued. Prominent citizens such as NY Governor Horatio Seymour and NJ Governor Joel Parker spoke out against General Burnside. Burnside's response was to suppress the NY WORLD. Mr. Lincoln wrote letters supporting the actions of General Burnside. (In February of 1864, the USSC declined to intervene in the case (ex parte Vallandigham) as habeas corpus had been suspended by the Congress the previous year).

  Mr. Lincoln decided to deport Mr. Vallandigham to Confederate territory.(Of course, Vallandigham wasn't trusted by the Confederates.) On this date in 1863, he was brought into Confederate lines in Tennessee. He was able to travel to Richmond, then to Wilmington, NC, then to Bermuda, and finally to Canada.

  From Canada, Mr. Vallandigham declared himself a candidate for governor of Ohio. He won the Democrat nomination, but lost the election, receiving about 40% of the vote. He actually attended the 1864 Ohio Democrat convention in a disguise that fooled no one. Mr. Lincoln decided to ignore his presence.

  Mr. Vallandigham openly attended the Democrat National Convention of 1864 as a delegate from Ohio. He promoted the peace plank of the party's platform. Initially, he supported the candidacy of General McClellan, but withdrew his support when McClellan repudiated the peace plank of the platform.

  Mr. Vallandigham was involved with a Copperhead organiztion called the Sons of Liberty, which had evolved out of the Knights of the Golden Circle. During this time, some members of that organization were tried for treason by military tribunals. One of these men, Lambdin P. Milligan, filed suit to protest being tried by a military court. The case finally reached the USSC after the war ended (ex parte Milligan (1866)). The Court declared that it was unconstitutional to try citizens by military tribunals when the civilian courts were in operation.

  After the war, Mr. Vallandigham was not successful in regaining political office, and he resumed his law practice. In 1871, in Lebanon, Ohio, while trying a court case, he accidently shot himself with a pistol. His client was acquitted, but Vallandigham's wound proved fatal.

  Clement Laird Vallandigham Biography Page

  Clement Vallandigham's deportation to the CSA prompted the author, Edward Everett Hale to write a short story titled: "The Man Without A Country" in 1863. It was published in the ATLANTIC MONTHLY in December of that year.

The Man Without a Country - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia    Mr. Hale was the nephew of the famous orator and statesman, Edward Everett. He was also the grand nephew of the Revolutionary War hero, Nathan Hale.


  Here is  an explanation of General Order Number 38, and some of the events that transpired because of it:

General Order No. 38 - Ohio History Central

Last edited on Fri May 31st, 2013 01:14 am by Texas Defender

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