Synopsis: An upstate New York families' clash over their views of the Civil War and the views of the religious towns people comes to a head when Jeff "Tom" Beech volunteers for the Army and word gets back that he is missing. Upon word of his troubles the son of a staunch abolitionist and enemy of the Beech family sets out to find his friend! What happens next will bring a divided community together again.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Ron Maxwell
Production: The Film Collective
  3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
120 min

The war between the states.

That's what Abner Beech called it.

It had been going on for a year...

...before it really got to us

in the upper part of New York state.

We were far from the battles.

At least, I thought we were.

They called us people in the north

that didn't want the war "copperheads."

I was just an orphan living with the Beeches,

but I was as big a copperhead as Abner.

Springtime, 1862.

That's when the war came home.

And nothing was ever the same again.

They're recruiting in Juno Mills.

What on earth for? The war is over.

A confessed failure, if you ask me.

You sound just like my pa.

- Your father is afraid of a fight?

- Hell, no.

Just don't like this war.

Only time I saw Abner use his fists on a fellow

creature was when we was starting school.

- You remember that?

- Heh, oh, yeah.

One of his hands cracks a stubborn cow

on the haunches with a shovel.

Abner, boom, knocks the man clear

through the fence post.

One day it's harsh as a blizzard,

the next, soft as sunshine.

It's the equinoctial.

The what?


You know what they say

down at the Corners.

It's, uh, pretty hard to figure if the

war's gonna stop in the next few days...

...or go on for much worse than ever.

Warner thinks we need to join up now.

Says if we wait any longer,

we're liable to miss the whole thing.

What's there to miss?

Defending your country, for starters.

Preserving the Union, for seconds.

Who'll farm the land and do the work

if we all go off to war?

Who invited you?

Since when does Warner Pitts

need an invitation?

Benjamin Wade,

Republican senator from Ohio, said:

"Anyone who quotes the Constitution

in this crisis is a traitor."

Traitor. The Constitution.

Oh, oh. But listen how a Democrat paper

in Ohio gave it right back to them.

"Such an abolitionist should be hung

till the flesh rots off his bones...

...and the winds of heaven whistle 'Yankee

Doodle' through his loathsome skeleton."

King me, Paddy. Ha!

Not listening to a word I've been reading?

Pa, I'm the checkers king.

Whipped old Hurley here.

We don't have kings in America.

Hurley will tell you that.

No, but we got slaves.

Jee Hagadorn getting inside

that head of yours?

The way to a woman's heart, boy,

ain't by rejecting your own kin...

...and parroting the asinine opinions

of her father.

How about a rollicking now, sis?

There'll be no rollicking

in this house, Ni.

I would be pleased to hear...

... "Am I Not a Man and Brother?"

Whatever Father wants.

Am I not a man and a brother?

Ought I not then to be free?

Sell me not to one another

Take not thus my liberty

Ought I not then to be free?

Did I carry the tune?

Carried the meaning.

You're a blessing to me, Esther.

You're a real blessing.

You play like...

Like an angel.

Just like your mother did.


The Camptown ladies

Sing this song, doo-da, doo-da

Camptown ladies sing this song

Oh, de doo-da day

Oh, de doo-da day

Oh, de doo-da day

Camptown ladies sing this song

Oh, de doo-da day


Thunder and lightning

are the judgments of divine will.

To put a lightning rod atop a building, atop

a temple consecrated to the Almighty... an act of insolent defiance.

You cannot still the hand of God.

You cannot silence

the booming artillery of heaven.

Men know not whence cometh the wind.

We know only that the Lord rides the storm,

and he reaps the whirlwind.

It's nothing but foolishness.

"As lightning cometh from the east

and shineth in the west...

- will be the coming of the Lord."

- Can you talk sense?

A lightning rod will keep this church

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Bill Kauffman

Bill Kauffman (born November 15, 1959) is an American political writer generally aligned with the localist movement. He was born in Batavia, New York, and currently resides in Elba, New York, with his wife and daughter. A devout Roman Catholic, Kauffman was also an intimate correspondent of the late Gore Vidal, with whom he shares many ideological similarities. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Copperhead" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 15 May 2021. <>.

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