I find it strange that Confederate Soldiers,
Office holders, Citizens, newspapers had no problem in defining what
the issue was...
"Slavery, God's institution of labor, and the primary political element of our Confederation of Government, state sovereignty...must stand or fall together. To talk of maintaining our independence while we abolish slavery is simply to talk folly." The Courier, Charleston, S.C.
"Independence without slavery, would be valueless...the South without slavery would not be worth a mess of pottage."
Caleb Cutwell, Texas.
"if slavery is to be abolished then I take no more interest in our fight." Brig. Gen. Clement H. Stevens, AOT.
"This terrible war and extreme peril of our country...occasioned more by the institution of negro slavery [than] by any other subject of quarrel" Macon Telegraph and Confederate.
"For it [slavery] and it's perpetuation...we commenced and have kept at war" Memphis Appeal.
"It is virtually giving up the principle on which we went to war" Arkansas soldier, Reid, 'Confederate Opponents of Arming the Slaves 1861-1865', Journal of Mississippi History, 22 (Oct 1960) page 267.
"There never was, in the history of the world...a more complete abandonment of a cause...than this proposition to free the negroes and make soldiers of them."
Col. John J. Seibels, 6th Alabama Infantry.
“I am convinced the institution of slavery is now virtually destroyed & with it we lose the great object for which the Confederacy was made, and without which there never would have been a Confederacy” Lt. O. C. Orange 19th Texas Infantry
“You came into our country with your army, avowedly for the purpose of subjugating free white men, women, and children, and not only intend to rule over them, but you make negroes your allies, and desire to place over us an inferior race, which we have raised from barbarism to its present position, which is the highest ever attained by that race, in any country, in all time.” General John B. Hood to General W. T. Sherman
“The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution—African slavery as it exists amongst us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the 'rock upon which the old Union would split.' He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact." [Speech of Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens, Savannah, Georgia, 21 March 1861] ”
“It seems curious that men’s minds can change so sudden...
I mean that men who have not only been taught from their infancy that the institution of slavery was right; but men who actually owned and held slaves up to this time, --have now changed in their opinions regarding slavery, so as to be able to see the other side of the question, --to see that for man to have property in man was wrong, and that the “Declaration of Independence meant more than they had ever been able to see before. That all men are, and of right ought to be free” has a meaning different from the definition they had been taught from their infancy up, --and to see that the institution (though perhaps wise) had been abused, and perhaps for that abuse this terrible war with its results, was brought upon us as a punishment… These ideas come not from the Yanks or northern people but come from reflection, and reasoning among ourselves.”
Capt. Samual Foster, 25th Texas Cav. (dismounted) after the surrender of the AoT in N. Carolina
Another Texas soldier warned his wife that Union victory meant abolition, and abolition meant lying "supinely upon our backs," while "the fair daughters of the South [are] reduced to a level with the flat-footed thick-liped Negro."(p. 21 -- Pvt. John Street, 9th TX, to wife, Feb. 25, 1862, Tishomingo Co., MS.
“Joseph Bruckmuller, a German immigrant saloon keeper who fought with the Seventh Texas, had almost nothing in common with the scion of the Palmetto State, yet Bruckmuller also saw the need to preserve slavery as a powerful glue binding all whites in the South. Scoffing at ‘improve-the-world ideas of emancipation,’ Bruckmuller urged his fellow ‘adoption citizens’ to stand by ‘your own countrymen and race’ against the ‘murder and arson, hanging and stealing’ that were sure to accompany the ‘liberation of the half-civilized cannibal.’” [Pvt Joseph Bruckmuller, 7th TX, Address delivered to other prisoners at Ft. Douglas Prison, Chicago, June, 1862, ]