To The Editor:

In Nick Straatmann’s Sept. 6 Letter to the Editor “About the Civil War, Here Is What President Lincoln Wrote,” he claims that we should let those who were alive at the time to discuss what the Civil War was about. He goes on to cite Lincoln that the Civil War was not over slavery.

By contrast, in the spirit of Mr. Straatmann, I will cite the following excerpt from Texas’ Declaration of Secession:

“We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.

“That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding States.

“By the secession of six of the slave-holding States, and the certainty that others will speedily do likewise, Texas has no alternative but to remain in an isolated connection with the North, or unite her destinies with the South.”

Similar statements are made in the other Confederate states declarations. For example, Mississippi:

“Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world. ... a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.”

Just a final reminder: For the Union to remain whole as Lincoln wanted, the Confederate states didn’t have to secede. The “War of Northern Aggression” it was not. It was the Confederacy which fired the first shot in the Civil War and it is their perspective that is paramount.