The Living In The Land Of Cotton BLOG is designed to help or assist anyone who is a student in the studies of the “War Between the States.” Some may call it the “Civil War” or “The Great Rebellion.” On this site, however, such terms are not used. Those from the South studying this conflict or those who have a vested interest in Confederate History, see it as the “War of Northern Aggression” or the “War of Southern Independence.” ---- Dr. Richard Lee Montgomery
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The South Was Right by Samuel Augusta Steel, pp. 12-14, published in 1914
Alexander H. Stephens called it "The War Between the States," and I am sorry to see that this name has been recommended as the proper name by the Legislative Committee on the revision of the Constitution of North Carolina. This name conveys a wrong idea of the war. It was not a war between the States, but between the United States and the Confederate States, each acting as a nation. It is glaringly inaccurate and misleading.
By some it is called "The War Between the Sections." The objection to this name is that it is too vague, and gives no idea of what the war was about. It is not a name, only a label.
By some it has been called "The War of Secession." The objection to this name is that it implies that the South was responsible for the war, and this is not true. The North was the aggressor from first to last. For years before the war, it began and carried on an agitation hostile to the South, and when the South sought to protect itself by peaceable withdrawal, it invaded the South with fire and sword. That name is misleading.
The name most generally used, and which Congress has decided shall be the official name, is the "Civil War." I can not agree with Congress. A civil war is a war between two factions contending for the control of the same government, like the war between Caesar and Pompey in Roman history, or the war between the Houses of Lancaster and York in English history. It is evident that this was not the character of our war. If the Southern States had fought in the Union it would have been a "civil war;" but they withdrew from the Union, and organized a separate government. Whether they had the right to do this does not affect the case; the fact is they did it, and that fact makes the phrase "civil war" untrue when applied to our struggle. It was a war between two nations. For the four years that it lasted, the Confederate States was a real government, possessing all the attributes and exercising all the powers of government. It was acknowledged and supported and defended by its citizens ; it issued money, levied taxes, waged war, and was recognized as having belligerent rights. I can understand how this name is satisfactory to the North, for it concedes all they have claimed about the war. The plain logic of it makes it a war of "rebellion," the Southerners "rebels," Davis and Lee and Jackson "traitors," who escaped the usual fate of traitors only through the clemency of their conquerors. But I can not understand how such a name can meet the approval of intelligent Southerners. It can be justified only on the basis of Napoleon's sarcastic definition of history as "Fiction agreed upon." I never use it, and I teach my children not to use it. Its brevity may pass it with people who- are in too big a hurry to tell the tinith; but I have passed that point. I prefer to take a little more time and be right.
None of these names fit the facts in the case. Then what is the proper name for the war? It is this: THE WAR FOR THE UNION. That name states the truth about it. The North declared this to be the purpose of the war; it was begun, continued, and finished to preserve the Union; President Lincoln repeatedly asserted that this was the paramount issue, to which all others were subordinate; to "save the Union" he deliberately went outside of the Constitution in the exercise of arbitrary power; and if you had asked the men in blue what they were fighting for, nine out of ten of them would have said "to save the Union."
Moreover, this name expresses the result of the war; for it not only brought back into the Union the States that had gone out, but it made a new and different Union from, the one we had before. It puts the responsibility, too, where it belongs, on the North—a responsibility which they are proud to accept, and which we ought to be perfectly willing to concede to them. The South acted from first to last on the defensive; the North was the aggressor. It is all now far back in the past, and the clouds of passion have floated away, so let us be brave enough to be fair and do each other the justice to admit the truth. We will never do that when we call the war "the civil war," for that indicts the whole South. Whatever Congress may say, I shall call the great struggle the War for the Union.
Samuel Augusta Steel, The South Was Right (Columbia, S. C.: The R. L. Bryan Company, 1914), 12-14.
Myth:The War Between the States Was Fought Over SlaveryByRichard Lee Montgomery Living in the Land of Cotton: livinginthelandofcotton.com
True or false? Abraham Lincoln gave us the answer. When asked in March of 1861 by a newspaper reported at a Virginia Compromise Delegation, “Why not let the South go?” Abraham Lincoln replied, “Let the South go? Let the South go! Where then shall we gain our revenues?”1 Why would President Lincoln say such a thing? Well, it’s because he was alluding to the fact that the South paid 85 percent of the tax (Tariffs) burden of the nation. Lincoln sensed total financial ruin for the North so he waged war on the South.
In fact, the notion that the war was fought over slavery is so far from the truth and yet this interpretation has taught so many generations a deceptive lie. Even across the Atlantic Ocean in England, Charles Dickens, in 1862 said, “The Northern onslaught upon slavery was no more than a piece of specious humbug designed to conceal its desire for…
He (Grant) Threatened to Resign and Cast His Lot with the South livinginthelandofcotton.com The editor of the Randolph Citizen recalls some interesting reminiscences of the great Reticent. He had a tongue at one time, it would seem: In the summer of 1861 General Grant, then Colonel of the Twenty-first Illinois Regiment of Infantry, was stationed at Mexico, on the North Missouri Railroad, and had command of the post. He remained several months, mingling freely with the people, regardless of the peculiar shade of any one's political opinions; and as the distinguished Colonel had then no thought of aspiring to the Presidency or a dictatorship, no occasion existed for the reticence to which latterly he owes the greater part of his popularity. Ulysses the Silent was then Ulysses the Garrulous, and embraced every fair opportunity which came in his way to express his sentiments and opinions in regard to political affairs. One of these declarations we distinctly remember. In a public convers…