I think your view that the war was only about slavery is as incorrect as the war had nothing to do with slavery. Virginia voted against secession in April 1861 and did not seceded until Lincoln called up troops for an invasion of the South.
My great-grandfather (4 of my great-grandfathers served in the Confederate army) served as a private in the 10th Virginia and was not a slave-owner, 95% of the population of Virginia were not slave-owners. Yet after the war he apparently raised two black teenagers for they are listed as part of his household in the 1870 census.
Union troops invoked total war against the citizens of Virginia— they burned farms, killed livestock, and destroyed mills. Sheridan’s destruction of the Shenandoah Valley and “The Burning” conducted in Fauquier, Prince William, Loudoun, etc. are well documented.
Nothing to do with slavery? Nothing at all? Do you honestly believe that?
First of all, go back and read my item #1 again, it says the myth is:
But secession by itself did not cause war.
Indeed, there was virtually no Union response to secession, except in attempting to hold two, out of many dozens, of Federal facilities illegally seized by secessionists.
So, what started war was not secession, but rather the Confederacy's military assault on Federal Fort Sumter in April 1861, and then its formal declaration of war on the United States, May 6, 1861.
On May 23, 1861, Virginia voters elected to join the Confederacy and it's already declared war.
The first Confederate battle death did not happen until June 10, 1861.
wfu_deacons: "My great-grandfather (4 of my great-grandfathers served in the Confederate army) served as a private in the 10th Virginia and was not a slave-owner, 95% of the population of Virginia were not slave-owners."
Actual numbers for what percentages of white families from each state owned slaves can be found at this link.
They range from around 50% owning slaves in the Deep South states like Mississippi and South Carolina, to around 10% in Border states like Missouri and Maryland.
Numbers for Upper-South Virginia, North Carolina & Tennessee, as you might expect, are about half way: 25% of white families owned slaves.
Of course, in Western Virginia, your figure of 95% not owning slaves may well be correct.
And that is why they seceded from Virginia rather than go to war to defend slavery.
Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina tried to do the same.
wfu_deacons: "Union troops invoked total war against the citizens of Virginia they burned farms, killed livestock, and destroyed mills."
And Confederate troops invading Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Kansas, to name some, did much the same.
The truth of the matter is that there was a lot of pillage and destruction of property, on both sides.
But there were very few murders or other atrocities against civilians, on either side.