"A Hard Case—Vallandigham's Reception by his Friend Jeff," 1863

The Peace Democrat

In May 1863 Lincoln faced another kind of challenge when General Ambrose Burnside arrested Clement L. Vallandigham, a leading Peace Democrat, for speaking against the war. A military commission found Vallandigham guilty and sentenced him to prison, but the case created such a furor that Lincoln commuted the sentence and exiled Vallandignam to the Confederacy. Afterwards, Lincoln defended himself, saying, “Must I shoot a simple-minded soldier boy who deserts, while I must not touch a hair of a wiley agitator who induces him to desert?”