Copperhead (2013)





Copperhead centers on the life of Abner Beech, a “Copperhead” or Northern Democrat opposed to the war effort. The isolation and contempt that Beech experiences as a result of his political views only increases following his son’s decision to join the Union Army.

Directed by the same man who directed Gettysburg and Gods and Generals, Copperhead shows how the conflict affected those on the home front in the North. This film reflects recent audiences’ desire for previously ignored stories.

While critics appreciated the subject matter, many were critical of the execution, complaining that it was too long and dry. Other critics found the movie overly sympathetic toward the Confederate cause.




Jennifer Weber, Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln’s Opponent in the North, New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.


Thomas Rogers, “Copperheads or a Respectable Minority: Current Approaches to the Study of Civil War-Era Democrats,” Indiana Magazine of History, 109, no. 2 (June 2013).

Jennifer Weber,“Lincoln’s Critics: The Copperheads,” Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 32, no. 1 (Winter 2011).

Bill DeLap, “Northern Exposure: Copperheads Depicts a Forgotten Chapter in New York State’s Civil War History,” Syracuse New Times June 26, 2013.

Film Reviews

Sidney Blumenthal, “Romanticizing the Villains of the Civil War,” The Atlantic, July 22, 2013.

Matt Seitz, “Copperhead Film Review,” Roger Ebert, July 19, 2013.

Stephanie Merry, “Copperhead Movie Review,” The Washington Post, June 17, 2013.

John DeFore, “Copperhead Film Review,” The Hollywood Reporter, June 25, 2013.

Justin Chang, “Copperhead Review,” Variety, July 24, 2013.



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