So is Joy Masoff just one of ‘These Confederate heritage groups have been making this claim for years as a way of purging their cause of its association with slavery.’
The truth about the US Civil War is the the Slave States of the south seceded primarily because of complaints against the Free States not enforcing Federal laws against fugitive slaves who’ve fled to a Free State, and there were other complaints, especially against Lincoln. They accused Lincoln of being an Abolitionist, actually he had always sought the middle ground between the Free and Slave States. Even the Emancipation Proclamation (Jan 1, 1863, over a year-and-a-half after the attack at Ft. Sumter), still it wasn’t a Radical Abolitionist document, it was limited, and depended on the Union winning. At first Unionists were defending, then after 1863-01-01 they officially opposed slavery, not to imply that it was neither popular nor unpopular among the Unionists. I suppose the former slaves were officially accepted into the US military after that. I don’t think that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ever applied to the former slaves, .
The US Civil War didn’t happen in a vacuum, during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries many empires were freeing their slaves and abolishing the slave trade, the USA was not the pioneering Abolitionists, the whole world was abolishing slavery. In the southern USA they would have seen Abolitionism all around them, even in their home country. So a few months after Lincoln was elected, some Slave States seceded, formed a government, money system, army, they did that and a lot more, recreating the old defunct Confederacy, and they attacked the supply lines to Ft. Sumter to drive the US Soldiers out of southern lands, beginning with S. Carolina. Now-a-days Ft. Sumter is a park and memorial. In the end General Lee surrendered, and the war ended. Lincoln accepted the seceded states back into the USA under the 10% Plan.
The Confederate argument since the mid-nineteenth century been that since slavery was law, then they weren’t doing anything wrong by pursuing it, and it was the Free States who wrongly weren’t enforcing the fugitive slave laws. Each side did support the laws, as long as they were the ones who wrote it. Keep in mind that the Slave Masters wrote those laws into the Federal code.
The legal history of the slave laws, and especially the “Compromise of 1850” which admitted California into the USA as a state, is very interesting reading, explaining the legal situation leading up to the Civil War. The word “slave” is not in the US Constitution, even though most of the founders kept people enslaved themselves.
From what I can gather, the modern Confederates want to erase slavery, and turn the story of the old south into a gentile, orderly society, of pristine beauty, chivalry, grace, and harmony, where everyone had a place, knew their place, and stayed in their place. That idea didn’t really start until after the Civil War in series of fiction books that were popular in the N and S. Its a fiction story.