In my research for Freedom's Main Line and for another project on which I am currently working I have come across a great deal of material on the centennial commemorations of the Civil War. But in the South during that era, the era of massive resistance to civil rights and heightened regional sensitivities (and thus whistling past the graveyard chauvinism) they were less commemorations that celebrations.
We are fast approaching the 150th anniversary. And while much has changed much remains the same. (Yes, it is confusing that the Times uses the same photo for two different stories.)
Look, the Civil War was about slavery. The South fought the Civil War to preserve slavery and we know this because the states told us as much in the secession documents and in their conversations with one another. Sure, they had other complaints with the North, but none would have risen to a level anything beyond harsh words had the South's oligarchs not been insistent on maintaining their peculiar institution.
This is a message we need to pound down peoples' throats as the sesquicentennial approaches because there will be a serious rearguard attempt to revive States' Rights arguments about the war. the rejoinder to the assertion of States' Rights is always: The States' Rights to do what?