There are many different estimates as to the number of casualties in Lincoln’s War Between the States. If one also counts civilian dead, total casualties are probably well over 660,000. Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary series stated casualties were two percent of the population. Today, that would work out to be between five and six million dead — a truly horrific figure.
The British abolished slavery with the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833. Parliament allocated twenty million pounds for compensation to slave owners — far less in both blood and capital than the cost of fighting a war.
Lincoln’s real priority was not the slaves but the collection of revenue. He knew that a low-tax independent South would attract far more European trade to its relatively duty free ports like Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans, and that goods could easily be smuggled from there across the long border the U.S. would share with the Confederacy. Lincoln’s mercantilist plans would be foiled, and Lincoln was a true mercantilist. He believed in increasing a nation’s wealth by government regulation of all of the nation’s commercial interests.
During his presidency, Dishonest Abe also managed to suspend habeas corpus, imprison tens of thousands of Northern political opponents during the War between the States, shut down hundreds of opposition newspapers, micromanage the bombing of Southern cities and wage war on civilians, and pledge to support a constitutional amendment prohibiting the federal government from ever interfering with Southern slavery.
Rather than wish Lincoln a Happy Birthday, perhaps we can celebrate the birth of William Henry Harrison (February 9, 1773). Having died only a month into his first term as President, Harrison did not live long enough to do nearly as much damage as Lincoln.
Excerpts taken from Lincoln Unmasked by Thomas J. DiLorenzo