Can we be thankful for that hateful and cruel war as we look back 150 years? Romans 8:28 says that "all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose".
What good could possibly come out of the death of 620,000 brave men, plus the destruction of a Country?Was the war right? Was secession justifiable? What about the slavery issue? So many questions bubble up when we try to look back to that time in history, forgetting that our vantage point is so different for theirs.
Yes, good came out of it: for one thing we are now and for always "one nation" again. That was proved by the triumph of the federal government. The slavery issue was settled too, although if the South had just waited, perhaps this could have been worked out without all the bloodshed, as was true in most of the rest of the world.
Unseen benefits: many came to Christ during the war. We will not know until we get to Heaven, how many conversions came as a result of the fear of imminent death, and of losing all one held onto so dearly.
Our Providential God does work in mysterious ways, but He works! I am thankful for the brave men and women on both sides who set a godly example for us, so long ago. We have much to live up to!