Re: Lincoln: the Man, not the Movie
You all know that if there are 5 people in a room discussing the reasons for the war, or there are 500 people. There are going to be as many answers as there are people in that room. I have read diaries, and letters written by Confederate soldiers in the field, there is seldom a mention of slavery. Most of these men state they are fighting to protect their homes and families. Some of the letters even state
"tell all the Negroes hello for me". I have also read accounts and diaries written by men in blue, they seem to have not really knew what they were fighting for, except that they were supposedly saving the Union, but after a year or more of fighting, they could not understand why the Union was so important.
Also look at the number of slaves that had many chances to "escape" and never left their homes. Some letters state that the blacks did not want the Yankees any where around, they were afraid of them. Alan Pitts suggested to me to read "4 Years under Marsh Robert"
In this book Robert Stiles stated that the reason Virginia succeed, was to protect themselves from Yankee invasion. So why was the war really fought? Was it political?, was it to keep/ or free the slaves? Was it states rights? was it to protect the homeland of the south? was it to protect the families and homes from northern invasion? was it because Lincoln had a massive build up of troops?
Was it to save the union? Was it money? Did Fort Sumter actually start the conflict or was there already shots fired? Or was it a combination of all the above? I personally do not think any one now or then can put one reason as the cause for the war. There were to many politicians involved, both north and south, there were to many egos to build and boost & to much money to be made. It does not matter to me why it started, it did start. Both sides lost countless lives, both sides suffered through 4 years of conflict, both sides had families that were torn apart because brother fought against brother, or cousin, or uncle or even fathers. I am a true southerner, I had ancestors that died in this war, and I seem to always be able to set aside the reasons for the war, it is over, it happened, and now I become more focused on battles, tracing footsteps of our Confederate Army, trying to figure out where who was and why they were there, and what role they might have played.
Now if you really want to get more "discussion" from a room full of folks, try asking the question
"What would have happened if the South had won? and what differences would there today?" But again this is all speculation, and not important because we did not win, but there will always be as many different answers as there are people in the room.
Do not get me wrong, I have learned a lot from this thread, but I am not into politics, then or now. I know a lot of you are, and that is fine, but if I stopped and started on politics of that day, I would lose years of unfinished projects and research on what happened. I just had to put in my two cents worth.