Director: Ronald F. Maxwell.
Starring: François Arnaud (Warner Pitts), Lucy Boynton (Esther Hagadorn), Casey Thomas Brown (Jeff Beech), Billy Campbell (Abner Beech), Mary Fay Coady (Janey Wilcox), Josh Cruddas (Jimmy), Ryan Doucette (Byron Truax), Brian Downey (Preacher Taggart), Ryan Drost (Dancer), Rod Ernest (Driver), Peter Fonda (Avery), Scott Horton (Poll Fighter#2), Brian Jamieson (Roselle Upman), Walter Learning (Inspector Two), Stephen LeBail (Farmhand), Daniel Lillford (Lambert), Angus Macfadyen (Jee Hagadorn), Ciarán MacGillivray (Ray Hare), Wally MacKinnon (Baker), Colm Magner (Bridwell), Andrea Lee Norwood (Till Babcock), Robbie O'Neill (Inspector), Scott Owen (T.S. Davis), Augustus Prew (Ni Hagadorn), Arnold Rafuse (Poll Fighter #1), Charlie Rhindress (Ticknor), Elizabeth Richardson (Tabitha Watkins), Geneviève Steele (M'Rye Beech), Hugh Thompson (Hurley).
opponents of Lincoln in the north get in trouble with their neighbors
The movie itself is okay. The story is okay. The acting is good. It's just that you don't really learn much about the Copperhead movement. At the least they should have made a few mentions of the Copperhead movement and the Copperhead political party.
Many of the Copperheads were southerners who had moved north or merchants who had business links with the south.
The film was too "nice", too "liberal". Copperheads were "Rednecks", racists like today's racists. And they did present a political threat in the 1864 election. Jennifer Weber's Copperheads (2006) says that Northern antiwar sentiment was so strong that Peace Democrats came close to seizing control of their party in mid-1864. Major General George McClellan ran for the presidency of the United States as a Copperhead. The battle victories of the North in 1864 blew the wind out of the sails of the Copperhead Party. And McClellan was more liberal than the Copperhead party platform, which caused problems for his campaign.
It isn't right to be so nice to "Rednecks". The main Copperhead was a decent fellow and certainly not much of a threat to the Republican party. But the real Copperheads were a threat. The movie chooses to teach "tolerance" for different people's different political choices. But this stance is just not supportable. For instance, think about the call for "tolerance" for the Rednecks of today. We cannot be tolerant of racist hatred. Being nice to racists is not tolerance, it's morally evil.
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
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