On March 5, 2015 a Wilmington StarNews editorial opinion ran the text of President Lincoln’s second in inaugural address from March 4, 1865—this year marks the end of his war against the Southern people, 150 years later. Editors’ titled their view “Words worth repeating.”
Typically, Lincoln’s political words didn’t match reality; or truth. Although in this speech he assumed people were “reasonably” satisfied with his military waging war on Southern civilians, even at that late date he wouldn’t predict the destructive Northern army success.
In the speech he misled the audience about the war. He said that “four years ago—all sought to avert it.” That was not true. From the beginning Lincoln ignored several opportunities offered by Southern delegations to avoid a war and lied about his intentions to resupply the federal Ft. Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. Historians Bruce Catton and Shelby Foote explained how Lincoln “maneuvered” South Carolinians to fire the first shot by sending battleships to Charleston Harbor.
Lincoln lied in his speech about the cause of the war. “All knew that this…peculiar and powerful… (slavery) interest was somehow the cause of the war.” Historian Charles Adams in his powerful book, “When in the Course of Human Events” explains that “slavery was not an issue until after almost two years of unimaginable slaughter; only at that point did emancipation become a war measure, limited to areas under Confederate control and designed to create slave uprisings and unrest in the South and thus shorten the war”—which Lincoln was under great pressure to stop.
While evoking the Bible, prayer and God in this speech, Lincoln showed malice toward the South. He immorally let his generals wage war against the civilian population, burning their homes and cities; destroying their means of earning a living (including those of the slaves); and stealing personal property. Mr. Adams writes: “His best generals would have a difficult time avoiding conviction by a war crimes tribunal according to the laws of war at that time for their plunder of Southern civilization. Further, their policies on prisoner exchange led to many deaths both of Southerners in northern prisons and vice versa.
Lincoln unconstitutionally centralized his power; targeted civilians who disagreed with him; confiscated private property; suspended habeas corpus; recruited criminals for his war; used military force to shut down newspaper offices; threw legislators, editors and other dissenting people in jail; and destroyed the Southern economy. In addition, by today’s views, Lincoln was a white supremist.
During the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858 Lincoln said:
I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality; and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position. I have never said anything to the contrary.
Professor Thomas J. DiLorenzo in the introduction to his revealing book, “The Real Lincoln” cites a comment by Lincoln historian Robert W. Johannsen:
Anyone who embarks on a study of Abraham Lincoln…must first come to terms with the Lincoln myth. The effort to penetrate the crust of legend that surrounds Lincoln…is both a formidable and intimidating task. Lincoln, it seems, requires special considerations that are denied to other figures….
Sadly, this myth has perpetuated the animosities between Southern and Northern Americans for a century and one-half. It has been used to further an evil purpose of hatred and vengeance against Southern people, and it is used to denigrate and ignore their outstanding contributions to American history.