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Letters to the editor, March 7

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Denton Record-Chronicle Readers

Old adage offers truth

In the letter to the editor, "First casualty is truth" (Denton Record Chronicle, March 2), the letter writer demonstrates the truth of that old adage.

Two of my great grandfathers fought for the South in the Civil War. By definition they were both traitors and guilty of treason. However, they were pardoned by President Lincoln after they took the Oath of Allegiance. Both left the war, went home and went back to work as citizens of the United States.

Neither owned slaves.

The Civil War was fought over the ugly practice of human slavery. Like my great grandfathers, most of the southern soldiers in this war were not slave owners. They went to war after being convinced by southern elites they would lose their position in society if the slaves were freed.

This concept was reinforced by the misinterpretation of the Bible by southern fundamentalist preachers. These ideas continued after the war as southern segregation until the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The letter writer concludes, "The North wasn't so enamored of the slaves as to invite them to come north following the war." In fact, many slaves were taken north before the war by abolitionists. During Reconstruction, freed slaves were given many opportunities to go north and west where they could earn a decent living outside the South.

When truth is a casualty -- ignorance is generally the cause.

Bob James,