7.24.2006

So what WAS it about?

George Grant relays these words spoken by Ulysses S. Grant, the last Northern General of the Civil War, and a slave-owner until it was illegal:
"If the war had been about slavery,' he [Ulysses] 'would have fought for the South."

George Grant continues:
"Ironically, his greatest on-the-field adversary, Robert E. Lee had stated exactly the opposite sentiment."

In other words, Lee would have said yes when the North asked him to lead them, if Lee thought the war was about slavery.

2 comments:

  1. I would think asking George Grant that question would get an answer. :) As a Canadian, I have no clue.

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  2. This gives us a glimpse into what the war was most certainly NOT about -- slavery. As much as we might want to disregard the positions of other modern historians, etc. and say they have an agenda for what they believe, we must admit the people who fought the war expressed themselves in a forthright manner.

    I haven't seen the quotes before, but apparently Grant denied the war was about slavery, and so did Lee. That should tell you something. But for me, the clincher is the quote from Lincoln himself. You don't need to go any farther to see that slavery had nothing to do with the war. This quote is from a public letter, written by Lincoln, in response to an open letter from Horace Greeley.

    "My paramount objective in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union ..."

    Don't let anyone tell you the war was about slavery. On the part of the North, it was about maintaining the Union by whatever means necessary. On the part of the South, it was about exercising their sovereign right to leave a voluntary union that they had entered into.

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