Atkins, "Democracy"; Fulwider, 239. Fulwider notes, "The firing on Fort Sumter, while not a surprise, presented a new situation. The issue was no longer slavery, it was the preservation of the National Union. While Stephenson County had been sharply divided on the various issues arising out of the slavery question, her people stood almost a unit on the greater question of the preservation of the Union, and how well they did their part in the greatest crisis of the nation is written in the history of her fighting men on the battlefield. Party lines were practically obliterated and Democrats and Republicans went to the front side by side, not to free the negroes, but to save a nation."
[Note, however, that the issue of slavery was a main reason the Southern states left the Union and later did become a main motivating issue for both sides of the war.]