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During the Civil War, there were constant rumors of a vast plot to subvert portions of the North to the cause of the Confederacy. These rumors were particularly prevalent in the states along the Ohio River, and Illinois was no exception. The concensus [sic] of opinion was that Rebel agents were circulating through these states for the purpose of detaching portions of them from the Union cause.
Tingley, Donald, "The Copperheads in Illinois" (1963). Faculty Research & Creative Activity. 73.