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 Posted: Thu Dec 13th, 2007 11:57 pm
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PvtClewell
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Has anybody seen the latest issue of North & South (Vol. 10, No. 4)?

There's a short study three-page study by Joanie's favorite historian, James McPherson, titled 'Central to the War' in which he discusses Civil War soldiers' motives for fighting and seems to fit into this thread as if he were contributing his own post. Near the end of the piece he writes:

'Whether or not they fought consciously to defend slavery, Confederate soldiers undeniably fought to defend a slave society from perceived or threatened destruction. The American Civil War would not have occurred without the existence of slavery.'

Well, there you have it. Case settled.

McPherson goes on to write:

"That institution (slavery) was by far the most valuable form of property in the entire United States — let alone the slave states. The market value of the four million slaves in 1860 was close to $3 billion — more than the value of land, of cotton, or of anything else in the slave states, and more than the amount of capital invested in manufacturing and railroads combined in the whole United States. No wonder Jefferson Davis justified secession in 1861 as an act of self-defense against the incoming Lincoln administration, whose announced policy of excluding slavery from the territories would make "property in slaves so insecure as to be comparatively worthless...thereby annihilating in effect property worth thousands of millions of dollars."

Sidebar: I greatly enjoy each issue of N&S, but McPherson's story had three glaring typos in it. Lincoln, for example, was spelled 'Lincooln.'Also, several letters in the mailbag also had a few typos, which is uncharacteristic of this magazine. Who's not using the spellchecker, I wonder.

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