“Northerners Question Lincoln’s War”
“The Democratic party of the Civil War has not been well-served by historical scholarship. To quote David Donald, in research in the politics of the period, the historian has been “a camp follower of the successful army.” American historians have agreed, more often than not, with the negative assessments of contemporaries. They have pictured the party as divided into two main groups, the War Democrats, who basically suspended partisanship, and the peace-at-any-price men, the Copperheads, who ran the party organization during the war. Although recently modified somewhat by a number of shrewd reassessments, this picture still remains the major theme of Civil War political studies.”
(A Respectable Minority, Joel H. Silbey, W.W. Norton, 1977, pp. xii-xiii)
“If the cotton States shall become satisfied that they can do better out of the Union than in it, we insist on the letting them go in peace. The right to secede may be a revolutionary one, but it exists nevertheless. We must ever resist the right of any State to remain in the Union and nullify or defy the laws thereof. To withdraw from the Union is quite another matter; whenever a considerable section of our Union shall deliberately decide to go out, we shall resist all coercive measures designed to keep them in. We hope never to live in a republic whereof one section is pinned to another by bayonets.”  Horace Greeley, New York Tribune, November 9, 1860
“I would protest against this ambiguous policy of “ professing a war to preserve the Union but actually fighting a war to abolish slavery. As for the cause of the war, he argued: “Slavery is the occasion, but not the cause…but slavery agitation, North and South, is the cause.”  Republicans were condemned for working “to free the Negroes, regardless of Constitutional limitations and consequences.”  Republicans, Cox charged, were changing their attitude on the nature of the war. Where they first asserted that it was not a civil war, now they were contending that the laws of war between nations should apply and should make confiscation possible.  Northern States would not receive freed slaves, even though many “will be freed incidentally by the war.” Indiana and Illinois, the President’s own State, already forbade the entrance of Negroes. “
(“Sunset” Cox, Irrepressible Democrat, David Lindsey, Wayne State University Press, 1959, pp. 63-64)
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