At your request, I went back to the first post in this thread. This was Joe Allport's post which centered on General Sheridan's quote about preserving the government. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I took this thread to be about. Joe did mention, "I cannot imagine any Confederate soldier, not even a general, stating they were fighting 'to preserve the Government.'" Joe is certainly right on that, but again, it seemed that the thread was about Northern sentiment along those lines.
Your response was "Sheridan was a pawn of the US Government at that time. That was his job. To preserve it so It could maintain all of the land mass, congressional seats and the taxing mechanism of the whole. He may have ‘gotten a bug in his ear’ from someone else, higher up?"
Phil Sheridan was not the kind of man who did or said certain things against his personal will. I can promise that much. If you read Sheridan's memoirs, he's not the least bit remorseful about anything he did during the war. The same is true of Sherman and Grant. They served because they believed in the U.S. government.
Officers who found personal beliefs in conflict with the orders received resigned their commissions and went home. You can count on that, too.
Pam, you said several times, "Well Alan, the Union soldiers were fighting to preserve the Union, as they were ordered to do." "I said the Union soldiers were following orders." "Those in the Union Army were following orders just as they had always done." Unless I misunderstand your words, you're saying that Federal soldiers were forced into service and did things strictly because they had to, not because of any person desire or interest.
If that's what you're saying, it's just untrue. If I have misunderstood you, I apologize.
My posts, such as the one about General Rosecrans, have been designed to show Northern desire to preserve the authority of the government in Washington. Each time I've posted something like that or the Sullivan Ballou letter (and there are hundreds more like it), you respond with something like, "Would these words have less meaning if they had been attributed to a Southern soldier?" None of these quotes have anything to do with Southern soldiers; they're strictly focused on Northern soldiers and why they fought.
You seem to be convinced that somebody had a bayonet in the back of each and every Northern officer and enlisted man. It's just not possible. In reality most Yankees served in the U.S. army because they more or less believed in the purposes of the U.S. government.
What about Southern soldiers?
That's a different topic, but Joe said it all here - "I cannot imagine any Confederate soldier, not even a general, stating they were fighting 'to preserve the Government.'"