Letters to the Editor

Words from the times show cause of Civil War

A recent letter writer cited historians' opinions as facts to claim slavery was the cause of the Civil War.

Her sources injected personal views into their writings. It is one thing to cite facts, but it is yet another to cite interpretations. Original comments of contemporary men in their words show hegemony transcended slavery.

"The sole object of this war is to restore the Union. Should I become convinced it has any other object, or that the government designs its soldiers to execute the wishes of the abolitionists, I pledge you my honor as a man and a soldier, I would resign my commission and carry my sword to the other side." Ulysses S. Grant, Chicago Tribune, 1862

"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it." Abraham Lincoln, 1862, to Horace Greeley, editor New York Tribune

"All these cries of having 'abolished slavery'... are all gross, shameless, transparent cheats, so transparent that they ought to deceive no one."Lysander Spooner, 1870

"It was necessary to put the South at a moral disadvantage by transforming the contest from a war against states fighting for the independence into a war waged against states fighting for slavery ... " Woodrow Wilson, 1901

Most who insist that slavery caused the war have learned only Northern "truth" as altered by the victors. Those who know otherwise but insist upon proclaiming it are tyrants.

John M. Sutton