South for Peace, North for War:

The duplicity of James Buchanan, William Seward and Lincoln, first in secretly attempting reinforcement of Fort Sumter with armed troops and later by misleading South Carolina’s peaceful mission to Washington, confirmed for Southerners that further political connections with the North were counter-productive.  Like the American colonies who wanted independence and had to fight for it, the American South was forced to follow the same path.

Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"


South for Peace, North for War:

The honorable exertions of President Davis, cordially approved by Congress and the people, to avoid collision of arms

[with the United States], were disappointed, and events had now verified his life-long conviction, that the exercise of their sovereignty, by the States, would be attended by a war involving their existence.  Sustained by an unlimited popular confidence, with a comparatively perfected organization, and with every possible preparation that the difficulties of its situation would permit, the Government met, with commendable composure, the shock of arms which its chief had foreseen to be inevitable.

The proclamation of President Lincoln, declaring war upon the Confederate States, was promptly responded to by President Davis, in official announcements, appropriately recognizing the condition of public affairs, and inviting energetic preparations for immediate hostilities. He at once called upon the various States for quotas of volunteers for the public defense.  In every instance, and by all classes of citizens, an enthusiastic response was given to the demands of the Government. In all the States the responses to the call for volunteers exceeded the quotas.

Congress assembled in special session, in obedience to a proclamation of the President, on the 20th of April. The message was an eminently characteristic document…Europe was not less amazed with its dignity and force, than was the North impressed with the earnest terms in which the purpose of resistance was announced.

[The President] spoke in terms of keen, yet dignified satire of Lincoln’s proclamation, which attempted to treat seven sovereign States united in a confederacy, and holding five millions of people and a half-million of square miles of territory, as “combinations,” which he proposed to suppress by a posse comitatus of seventy-five thousand men…..[and] concluded with these impressive words:

“We feel that our cause if just and holy; we protest solemnly in the face of mankind that we desire peace at any sacrifice save that of honour and independence; we seek no conquest, no aggrandizement, no concession of any kind from the States with whom we were lately confederated.  All we seek is to be let alone; that those who never held power over us shall not now attempt our subjugation by arms.

This we will, this we must resist to the direst extremity. The moment that this pretension [of war] is abandoned, the sword will drop from our grasp, and we shall be ready to enter into treaties of amity and commerce that can not but be materially beneficial. So long as this pretension is maintained, with firm reliance on that divine power which covers with its protection the just cause, we will continue the struggle for our inherent right to freedom, independence, and self-government.”

(Life of President Davis, Frank H. Alfriend, National Publishing Company, 1868, pp. 273-276)