The Confederate Cause
Actuated solely by a desire to preserve our own rights and promote our own welfare, the separation of the Confederate States has been marked by no aggression upon others and followed by no domestic convulsion.
President Jefferson Davis
Inaugural Address, February 18,1861
The principles for which they suffered and fought, and so many of them died, were the inalienable right of a people to choose their own form of government, and the sacredness of constitutional guarantees.
Ed Porter Thompson
Captain & AQM, First Kentucky Brigade
& author of the History of the Orphan Brigade
Those People’s Cause
What It Was Not…
From Abraham Lincoln’s speech at the 4th Lincoln-Douglas debate, Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858
“When I was at the hotel today, an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing a perfect equality between the Negroes and white people…I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races; that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say, in addition to this, that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”
What It Was…
From a letter of Lincoln to Horace Greeley, August 22, 1862
“My paramount objective in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could do it be freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.”
Hunt, John Gabriel, ed., The Essential Abraham Lincoln. New York: Gramercy Books, 1993.