What They Fought For” Summary

Chapter 1: “The Holy Cause of Liberty and Independence” This first entry into the book showcases the side of the southern Confederate armies, who were comparing the Civil War to the Revolutionary War. They saw their enemies, the Northern Yankees, as nothing more than tyrants trying to oppress the south. Just as the British had done to the colonists a century and a half ago. This gave them a “holy cause of southern freedom”, a reason to step into the shoes of their famed forefathers and once again fight for their liberties and constitutional rights. Chapter one also gives acounts of Confederates lives through letters and journals they wrote in during the Civil War. These letters told about many things: how the Southern fighters felt about the war, the tyrannical Yanks, southern ideology, slaves, and a yearning for the war to be over. What’s so surprising in this chapter is that only about one-third of Confederate soldiers came from slaveholding families. Chapter 2: “The Best Gov. On God’s Footstool“. The second entry focuses on the Confederates despised enemies, theNorthern Yankees. It also asks an important question,”Why did the North fight?” Like the South, they too believed they were fighting for the same things their ancestors had fought for, freedom and liberty. “We fight for the blessings bought by the blood and treasure of our Fathers.” This was written by a Yank from Missouri. In letters and journals/diaries, many Yanks felt that the Confederates were traitors, spitting on the rights their forefathers fought and died for in the War with the British. By keeping slaves, and departing from the Union. Chapter 3: “The War Will Never End Until We End Slavery” The last part in this book deals with one of the pillars and causes of the Civil War, slavery. One side wanted to keep it and the other wanted to destroy it. Chapter three delves on both sides, and their opinions on the already touchy subject. The Confederates felt it was their god-given right to have slaves, the superior controlling the weak. The North wanted to abolish slavery because it went against the Constitution. But letters show that some of the Yanks felt it was the only way to defeat the south, so they could really care less. Abraham Lincoln knew though, that the only way to end the war and bring the United States of America back together again, was to end slavery and free the blacks.