Writer lacks historical perspective

Letter to the Editor
Monday, March 09, 2009

It has taken me a little while to write this response, because I couldn’t quit laughing at the lack of historical knowledge of some people that seems to be so pervasive in this country.

Tracy E. Williams’ perspective ("Confederate heritage bill is a bad idea," Feb. 26) suggests that the "Civil War," as he calls it, was fought to preserve slavery. Slavery was present in the original 13 colonies, and was legal in the United States until Dec. 31, 1865, and only forbidden with the enactment of the 13th Amendment on said date. If the South was so bent on keeping their slaves, they would have stayed in the Union!

President Lincoln himself stated what the War of Northern Aggression was about when he wrote a letter to Horace Greeley, the New York Tribune editor, in 1862: "My paramount object is to save the Union, and not either destroy or save slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing the slaves, I would do it. If I could save the Union by freeing some and leaving others in slavery, I would do it. If I could save it by freeing all, I would do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because it helps save the Union."

April 26 is Confederate Memorial Day in Georgia, and is a state holiday that will be observed on Monday, the 27th. I support the bill designating April as Confederate Heritage and History Month in Georgia. I applaud Sen. J.B. Powell for sponsoring Senate Bill 27.

Also, slavery still exists today in Africa. Why are more people not perturbed about that, and what are people doing to stop it?

Richard L. Herron

Edgefield, S.C.