All the genius I have lies in this; when I have a subject in hand, I study it profoundly.
The real object of those who resorted to Secession, as well as those who sustained it, was not to overthrow the Government of the United States but to perpetuate the principles upon which it was founded. The object in quitting the Union was not to destroy, but to save the principles of the Constitution.
It was no Insurrection or Rebellion, or even Civil War in any proper sense of these terms... The war... was a war between States regularly organized into two separate Federal Republics... In the beginning, and throughout the contest, the object of the 'Confederates' was to maintain the separate Sovereignty of each State, and the right of self-government, which that necessarily carries with it. The object of the 'Federals,' on the contrary, was to maintain a Centralized Sovereignty over all the States on both sides. This was the fundamental principle involved in the Conflict, which must be kept continually in mind.