Justifying the First Appeal to Arms
“. . . Edward A. Pollard, a Virginia critic of [Jefferson] Davis, chronicler of the war and bewailer of the “lost cause,” took courage in 1868 to write his most significant book, The Lost Cause Regained.
The folly of politicians, he said, had made the South defend slavery seemingly “as a property tenure, or as a peculiar institution of labour; when the true ground of defense was as of a barrier against a contention and war of the races.” [Pollard wrote:]
“It has been curiously reserved for the South to obtain AFTER the war the actual experience of oppression, and of that measure a despotism which would have amply justified the commencement of hostilities. If it fought, in 1860, for principles too abstract, it has superabundant causes for rebellion now, which although they may not, and need not produce another war, yet have the effect to justify, in a remarkable way, the first appeal to arms.”
(The Central Theme of Southern History, Ulrich B. Phillips; Slavery As A Cause of the Civil War, E. Rozwenc, DC Heath and Company, 1949, pp. 25-26)