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War lessons

February 18, 2009

Re "Lincoln and me," Opinion, Feb. 12

David Grubin's essay about copying the Gettysburg Address elicited long-submerged memories. If the Mrs. Wright who taught him in sixth grade is the same Mrs. Wright who taught me in seventh grade, I can add some perspective.

My Mrs. Wright came from Kentucky. On the one hand, she was proud that Abraham Lincoln was born in her home state. On the other, she had sympathy for states' rights, the pivotal question, she averred, that underlay the War Between the States (as she insisted we call the Civil War).

Our fascination with the Civil War derives, in part, from the appearance that there were only two sides. We have tended to impose that fiction on our subsequent international conflicts.

Tom Morton

Riverside

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