Date published: 3/7/2007

Don’t blame the South for Abe Lincoln’s war

I have four comments concerning Daniel Augustine’s letter to the editor ["Let’s not misrepresent Abraham Lincoln, OK?" Feb. 20].

First of all, there was not an insurrection in the South. The Southern states simply seceded and wished to be left alone, as Jefferson Davis so eloquently stated.

Second, Lincoln’s armies did indeed "lay waste to our land," as the burned houses and barns throughout the Shenandoah Valley well attested.

On top of that, approximately 50,000 Southern civilians of all colors died because of this invasion.

Next, his statement that the Civil War was fought over slavery is best rebutted by the following two quotes from Dickens and Marx.

"The Northern onslaught upon slavery was no more than a piece of specious humbug designed to conceal its desire for economic control of the Southern states."–Charles Dickens.

"The war between the North and the South is a tariff war. The war is further not for any principle, does not touch the question of slavery, and in fact turns on the Northern lust for sovereignty."–Karl Marx

Finally, although the South did fire first, this was cleverly induced by Lincoln, as this quote will show.

"You and I both anticipated that the cause of the country would be advanced by making the attempt to provision Fort Sumter, even if it should fail; and it is no small consolation now to feel that our anticipation is justified by the result."–Lincoln, in a letter to Gustavus Fox on May 1, 1861.

Brock Townsend

Tarboro, N.C.

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