In Reply to: Sad times posted by Miguel on March 30, 2003 at 09:31:02:
Over 600,000 soldiers died in the civil war. Approximately 420,000 were troops who died from desease outbreaks and other illnesses during the war or other associated illness. Approximately 220 - 250,000 were battle related deaths. Some states virtually lost almost their whole military age male population during the war.
Although there were various issues slavery was the key issue. To quote A. Lincoln "...this government cannot endure permantly half state and half free." When asked about this he also said flatley that slavery will not be allowed to go west with the ongoing territorial expansion. The south, as well as to some extent the north, was dependant on the economics of the slave state. The south could afford to compromise on the other political issues but not on slavery. Ending the institiution of slavery would have lead to the collapse of the southern social system, something the social aristocracy of the slave states were loath to do.
Although Lincoln balked at the process of emancipation because of its political issues and the sure conflicts it woulf bring he was determined from the outstart to end slavery throughout the Union, including the south. The North was vastly capable of surviving the lack of southern states and was already industrializing at a huge rate. They had a virtual enexhaustive supply system in comparison to the south.
In regards to the southern rebellion Lincoln directed the following statement to them in March 1861.
"... In your hands my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of the civil war. The government will not assail you. You have no conflict, without you yourselves being the aggressors. You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the govermnent, while I have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect and defend" it. They tell us that they desire the people of a territory to vote slavery out or in as they please.... It is the sureest way of nationalizing the institution. Just as certain, but more dangerous because more insidious; but it is leading us there just as certainly and as surely as Jefferson Davis himself would have us go."
There are endless amounts of cros documentation throughout the Web to support the above.