Tensions between supporters of the Union and supporters of the Confederacy continued to run high in Cornwall throughout the war. Secessionists were given the derogatory nickname, “secesh.” Opinions were not simply split along two lines: a third faction was not in favor or north or south and merely advocated for an end to the war through a negotiated peace. They were frequently lumped together with supporters of the Confederacy and were called “Copperheads,” a derogatory term referring to a snake striking without warning.

Women rallied to support the Union soldiers, raising funds and gathering needed goods to ship to the army. The wives of soldiers found it necessary to oversee the running of farms and households as they filled in for the absent husbands.