So could it be that the feds wanted to revise history to help the noble cause of civil rights?
It wasn't difficult, given the long record of writings from the South. It was all about slavery, not even the end of slavery in southern states, but the end of expansion of slavery into states being created. Probably the Feds realized it was time to speak honestly about history with regards to the Civil War, inasmuch as some people were crazy enough to consider Blacks as somewhat equal to white folk.
And Goat- A master's degree in History isn't exactly a qualification to pontificate on anything, unless it is in a high school classroom.
Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens, who said: "Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the n---- is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition."
Jefferson Davis had said: "The condition of slavery with us is ... nothing but the form of civil government instituted for a class of people not fit to govern themselves. It is exactly what in every State exists in some form or other. It is just that kind of control which is extended in every northern State over its convicts, its lunatics, its minors, its apprentices. It is but a form of civil government for those who by their nature are not fit to govern themselves. We recognize the fact of the inferiority stamped upon that race of men by the Creator, and from the cradle to the grave, our Government, as a civil institution, marks that inferiority." (He said this in the Senate on February 29, 1860)
We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.
That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.
The writers of these documents even claimed the right to own slaves was the most important reason for the southern states joining the Union in the first place! They were honest enough to admit that they valued enslaving blacks more than freedom for themselves:
Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent [any] longer to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. We must either submit to degradation [i.e., the "degradation" of treating blacks like human beings], and to the loss of property worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property. For far less cause than this [the right to own other human beings], our fathers separated from the Crown of England.
"A similar provision of the Constitution requires them [the free states] to surrender fugitives from labor [i.e., runaway slaves]. This provision and the one last referred to were our main inducements for confederating with the Northern States. Without them it is historically true that we would have rejected the Constitution.