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Motives for war must not be forgotten


Date published: 12/14/2012

Motives for war must not be forgotten

Your editorial "History wears red" [Dec. 7] was a poignant reflection on the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg. The last paragraph, however, seemed ill-informed. The South fought first and foremost to preserve the institution of slavery. There was nothing noble in its motives, however bravely the soldiers fought.

This view is not "meanness" or a stunted moral tendency to belittle the motives of our forebears; rather, it is historical, factual recognition of the reason why more than 16,000 men were left dead, wounded, or missing on the Fredericksburg battlefield. If there is any glory in such carnage, it is in the recognition that the abominable institution of slavery was eventually abolished.

Civil War battle re-enactments have their purpose and enthusiasts. But a true appreciation of the war also requires a respectful understanding of what it was like to be a slave in the South in 1862.

Jerome O. Campane

Spotsylvania