LETTING YOUR PEOPLE KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING IS ESSENTIAL IF YOU WANT THEM TO FOLLOW YOU.
The official reason, of course, was to save the Union, but for many that was too high level; too abstract.
How did it affect the average person?
Lincoln phrased it this way in a speech to men of an Ohio regiment returning home to their families:
“I happen temporarily to occupy this big White House. I am a living witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my father’s child has. It is in order that each of you may have through this free government which we have enjoyed, an open field and a fair chance for your industry, enterprise and intelligence; that you may all have equal privileges in the race of life, with all its desirable human aspirations. It is for this the struggle should be maintained, that we may not lose our birthright. The nation is worth fighting for, to secure such an inestimable jewel.”