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This week in the Civil War - July 29 1862

A Copperhead on the War


A Copperhead on the War.

Published: July 3, 1864

Col. T.H. SEYMOUR, of Connecticut, in a letter to the Kentucky Democratic Convention, expressed his views as follows:

"It is owing, then, to a departure from correct principles that we have got this war upon us -- a war that might and ought to have been avoided. And it should have been avoided by throwing the heresy of coercion to the winds, and submitting for brute force the wise and humane policy of conciliation, on the basis of equal and exact justice -- 'to all their rights.' The latter course would have saved our free institutions, and no doubt saved the Union; the former, only powerful for evil, finds its main satisfaction in presenting us with daily spectacles of slaughtered countrymen, whose lives have been uselessly sacrificed.

But I find, gentlemen, I am making this lengthy after all, and will only trouble you a moment longer. You have rightly characterized this as a 'civil war, the offspring of blind passions.' No more fitting commentary on the suggestive 'blood-letting' of the Spring of 1861 could possibly be given. Falsely representing the war at its outset to be a war for the Union, we behold it now in its worst and most revolting shape, a hideous and malign movement for the overthrow of State rights, the division of conquered lands, military occupation of the same, and the consequent change in the form of our Government. And what adds to the previous character of the whole concern is the fact that those who drive the car of war utterly refuse to listen to propositions for peace or compromise except on the ground of unconditional submission of the South. Surely this is asking something impossible of a brave people, heroically contending for what they doubtless believe to be right. The war, then, is to be eternal, unless the benign principles which your worthy Democracy have set before us in their reso98lutions shall become the law of the land.

That these principles may have their influence with the Chicago Convention, where you are expecting to be represented, I would fondly hope. A great responsibility will devolve on the delegates to the National Convention -- no less than that of attempting to save a Republic, which 'blind passion' and hatred of sections are fast consigning to the tomb of dead commonwealths.

Firmly persuaded that our only hope for the future of our country is in the inauguration of peaceful councils. I commend your ninth and last resolution to every true friend of his country, as presenting the 'only means of saving our nation from unlimited calamity and ruin.'"

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