Vallandigham Incident

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VALLANDIGHAM INCIDENT. Clement L. Vallandigham of Dayton, Ohio, a Copperhead leader and former congressman, was arrested on 5 May 1863 for violating General Ambrose E. Burnside's General Order No. 38, prohibiting expressions of sympathy for the enemy during the American Civil War. He was convicted by court-martial and sentenced to prison, but President Abraham Lincoln commuted Vallandigham's sentence to banishment to the Confederacy. Vallandigham later left the South for Canada. From exile, he was nominated as the Democratic candidate for governor of Ohio but lost the race.

In early 1864, Vallandigham lost his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which said it lacked authority to overrule a military commission. Vallandigham returned to the United States in June 1864 and was not reimprisoned, even though the terms of his banishment required his detention if he returned.


Porter, George H. Ohio Politics during the Civil War Period. New York: AMS Press, 1968. The original edition was published New York: Columbia University, 1911.

Charles H.Coleman/c. w.

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Vallandigham Incident

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