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Copperheads

war northern knights

Copperheads, Northern Democrats who advocated peace with the Confederacy during the Civil War and who opposed President Lincoln's war policy. The epithet originated in an article in the New York Tribune in July 1861 that depicted the antiwar Northerners as venomous copperhead snakes that strike without warning. Most of these “Peace Democrats” confined themselves to agitating for a negotiated end to the war, but several secret Copperhead societies (Knights of the Golden Circle, Order of American Knights, Sons of Liberty) resorted to harassing Northern sympathizers, assisting deserters, and sabotaging Union supplies.

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