Section 5 - The Famous Quotes
Fasttrack to America's Past
Return to Originating Page

The quotes, top to bottom:

1.  "My paramount object in this struggle..."

   These lines are from a letter Abraham Lincoln wrote in 1862.  They reveal Lincoln's position early in the war that slavery was not the immediate issue. but rather, preserving the US intact.  Politically, Lincoln could not afford to center the conflict on the slavery issue, since the North was itself deeply divided over the subject.

2.  "All we ask is to be let alone."

   This line from Confederate President Jefferson Davis expresses the view of many Southerners as the Civil War began.  The Confederate States felt they had every right to leave the Union, and leave in peace.  Southerners saw the North as the aggressor in the conflict, and fought valiantly, as they saw it, in defense of their homes and families.

3.  "On the first day of January in the..."

   This passage is from the Emancipation Proclamation, issued in preliminary form by Abraham Lincoln in September, 1862.  It took effect January 1, 1863.  Notice, however, that it declared slaves free only in the areas controlled by the Confederacy.  It did not free slaves in the states that were part of the Union, such as Maryland.

4.  "...We here highly resolve that these dead..."

   These are the closing words of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, delivered to a crowd at the famous Pennsylvania battlefield some months after the fighting there in 1863.  Lincoln was not the main speaker at the dedication of  the cemetery there, and his remarks did not make a great impression at the time.  But as the speech was reprinted in newspapers, it grew in fame as people recognized the power of its words. 

The pictures, top to bottom:

1.  A Union soldier in camp equipped with backpack and musket.  The muzzle loading musket was still the basic weapon on both sides.  Camps could be as deadly as the battlefield, however, as infectious disease easily spread among the troops.

2.  A Confederate soldier with an artillery gun of the kind common on both sides of the war.  The South had great difficulty producing necessary military supplies, however, because so few factories existed in the region before the war.

3.  A town in flames during the war.  The conflict caused great physical destruction in the South, which crippled the Confederate States economically long after the war itself ended.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright 2015 by David Burns.  All rights reserved.  Illustrations and reading selections appearing in this work are taken from sources in the public domain and from private collections used by permission.  Sources include: the Dover Pictorial Archive, the Library of Congress, The National Archives, The Hart Publishing Co., Corel Corporation and its licensors, Nova Development Corporation and its licensors, and others.  Maps were created or adapted by the author using reference maps from the United States Geological Survey and Cartesia Software.  Please see the home page for this title for more information.