all considerations for the general good.
Extremists of one section furnished the occasion, eagerly seized as a pretext by equally extreme men in the other, for abandoning the pacific remedies and protection afforded by the Constitution
and seeking redress for possible future evils in war and the destruction of the Union
Stripped of all sophistry and side issues, the direct cause of the war, as it presented itself to the honest and patriotic citizens of the North
, was simply this.
Certain States, or rather a portion of the inhabitants of certain States, feared, or professed to fear, that injury would result to their rights and property from the elevation of a particular party to power.
Although the Constitution
and the actual condition of the government provided them with a peaceable and sure protection against the apprehended evil, they preferred to seek security in the destruction of the government which could protect them, and in the use of force against the national troops holding a national fortress.
To efface the insult offered our flag, to save ourselves from the fate of the divided republics of Italy
and South America
, to preserve our government from destruction, to enforce its just power and laws, to maintain our very existence as a nation,--these were the causes that compelled us to draw the sword.
Rebellion against a government like ours, which contains the means of self-adjustment and a pacific remedy for evils, should never be confounded with a revolution against despotic power, which refuses redress of wrongs.
Such a rebellion cannot be justified upon ethical grounds; and the only alternative for our choice is its suppression, or the destruction of our nationality.
At such a time as this, and in such a struggle, political partisanship should be merged in a true and brave patriotism, which thinks only of the good of the whole country.
It was in this cause and with these motives that so