James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

Page 350

  arrests. Nevertheless, it is improbable that Lincoln, of his own motion, would have ordered them; for, although at times he acted without warrant of the Constitution, he had at the same time a profound reverence for it, showing in all his procedure that he much preferred to keep within the strict limits of the letter and spirit of the organic law of the land and that whenever he exercised or permitted others to exercise arbitrary power he did so with keen regret. It was undoubtedly disagreeable to him to be called the Cæsar of the American Republic and “a more unlimited despot than the world knows this side of China,” and to be aware that Senator Grimes described a call at the White House for the purpose of seeing the President, as an attempt “to approach the footstool of the power enthroned at the other end of the avenue.” An order of the Secretary of War on February 14, 1862, directed the release of the political prisoners on parole that they would give no aid or comfort to the enemies of the United States and laid down the rule that henceforward arrests would be made under the direction of the military authorities alone.  13   The term “Copperhead,” which originated in the autumn of 1862, was used freely during the next year. It was an opprobrious epithet applied by Union men to those who adhered rigidly to the Democratic organization, strenuously opposed all the distinctive and vigorous war measures of the President and of Congress and, deeming it impossible to conquer the South, were therefore earnest advocates of peace. It might not be hardly exact to say that all who voted the Democratic ticket in 1863 were, in the parlance of the day, “Copperheads,” but this sweeping statement would be nearer the truth than one limiting the term to those who really wished for the military success of the South and organized or joined the secret order of Knights