Submission is Slavery
In answer to a letter suggesting that North Carolina negotiate a peace with the North in August 1863, Governor Zebulon Vance replied that “the terms of the North were, lay down your arms & submit, the terms of the South — leave us alone.” He added, “What would be the result of submission?….the confiscation of our property, the hanging of enough of our principal citizens to sate the Northern appetite for slaughter….and a public debt greater than that of any nation on earth – in short, the fate of the conquered….is what we should expect.”
Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"
Submission is Slavery:
A Northern student of the war once said to me, “If the Southern people had been of a statistical turn, there would have been no secession, there would have been no war.” But there were men enough of a statistical turn in the South to warn the people against the enormous expense of independence, just as there are men enough of a statistical turn in Italy to remind the Italians of the enormous cost of national unity.
“Counting the cost” is in things temporal the only wise course, as in the building of a tower; but there are times in the life of an individual, of a people, when the things that are eternal force themselves into the calculation, and the abacus is nowhere.
“Neither count I my life dear unto myself” is a sentiment that does not enter into the domain of statistics. To us submission meant slavery, as it did to Pericles and the Athenians; as it did to the great historian of Greece, who had learned this lesson from the [Peloponnesian] war, and who took sides with the Southern States, to the great dismay of his fellow radicals, who could not see, as George Grote saw, the real point at issue in the controversy.
Submission is slavery, and the bitterest taunt in the vocabulary of those who advocated secession was “submissionist.” But where does submission begin? That is a matter which must be decided by the sovereign; and on the theory that the States are sovereign, each State must be the judge.
(The Creed of the Old South, 1865-1915, Basil L. Gildersleeve, The Johns Hopkins Press, 1915, pp. 17-25)