Wanted to pose a question to any of the historians out there who can be objective and tell me why anyone would think Lincoln was one of our greatest presidents and address the idea that he was an abolitionist and did not fight the War Between the States to save the union, but to free the slaves.  Met a fellow who surprised me my both those statements.  I had good reason to believe him to be a Southern patriot.  I really like to examine any and all points of view that differ from my own and be open minded.   I have heard quite a few non-Southerners opine that Lincoln was a great president, but just don’t get how they get to that conclusion unless they think saving the union was worth any and all costs and means, including ignoring the Constitution, condoning war crimes, etc.   Please help me understand by telling me how informed people could believe that, not all the reasons it is not true, which I already know. 
Michele Hamlin