Since when did the entire Civil War revolve around Robert E Lee's personal beliefs? As I've pointed out to others before, the declaration osf secession of each state explicitly mentioned slavery as a reason for secession, sometimes up to twenty times each. Also, there was no other major issue in America at that time that could have divided the nation so much. Also, explain why every state that seceded was a slave state.
People need to realize that it was confederate historians who wrote the myth that the civil war was fought over "state rights." Everyone who fought in the war knew that the one single issue was slavery because they knew it would destroy the southern economy if they lost forced labor.
Abraham Lincoln made the Civil War over slavery after the war had already been going on for 2 years. Abraham Lincoln was not even like most of the other abolitionists. He felt that if slavery was kept out of the territories, it would die out by itself. He fought the Civil War to keep the United States together, not to eliminate slavery.
It was not JUST over slavery. A good deal of the civil war was over states rights as well. The south believed the states should choose their own laws, while the north believed the federal government chose the states laws. The only reason Lee joined the south was because his family brought him up there. He was actually opposed to slavery.
I definitely cannot say that about most Radical Republicans and Dems (who were Union, since they were against the Confederacy). They openly stated that the goal of their war was to loot the South and pillage them. They launched a Viking-style war on the South. To loot them of their resources.
Robert E. Lee was asked to fight for the North but couldn't bare arms over Virginia so became the general of Northern VIrginia, his home state. He grew up on an estate outside of DC that didn't own a single slave. He did grow some crops though. 75% of the South's population was made up of non slave owners