The Civil War was not a tragedy, anymore than the Revolutionary War was tragedy. Rather it was a necessary completion of that first war of rebellion. We as a people had proclaimed freedom in 1776 and that freedom could not be denied in 1861 or 1961. Yet we remember the Civil War as this sad tale of woe, as if it could've been avoided if only people were more reasonable. Let's thank the Lord that they were not more reasonable. Because reasonable people maintained the legal selling of children. Reasonable people thought it necessary (if unsatisfactory) to take a man who had gained his freedom and sell him south. Reasonable people wanted everyone to get along, no matter the number of lashes given.
President Lincoln did not want war. But to his great credit he did not shirk from war.