Upstate NY, 1862 - inspired by actual events: Dairy farmer Abner Beech despises slavery - but just as passionately opposes the war that President Lincoln is waging, all in the name of "union," hundreds of miles away.
Abner is neither a Yankee nor a rebel. He is what is known as a Copperhead.
A local anti-slavery zealot named Hagadorn stirs up the town against him, first with pamphlets, then with rumors that prompt shopkeepers to boycott Abner's dairy products, next by coaxing the community to shun his family. Worse, Abner's son falls in love with Hagadorn's daughter - marching off to war to please her, and goes missing in action. Hagadorn's wild eyed rhetoric ignites a torch-bearing mob to descend upon Abner's farm, placing all that both men love in mortal danger. Copperhead is a parable of the Civil War and perhaps our own time.