For the moment, let’s grant the Lost Cause narrative that the actual cause of the war was the Federal Government’s need to subdue the south in order to continue to tax them and collect tariff duties... Would the war and suppression of the rebellion then be an illegal act on the part of the government? How would Lincoln sending troops to suppress rebellion be any different than what President Washington had done in Pennsylvania during his term? One of the first taxes in the US was a tax on spirits distilled. Most of the distilling in the country was done along the frontier in the form of whiskey distilling. Farmers in Western Pennsylvania felt singled out and penalized by this tax. The rebelled and refused to pay. In July of 1793, the government sent a US Marshall to serve the distillers and collect the tax. The rebels violently took possession of the home of the tax collector and other government buildings in south western PA. President Washington raised a force of over ten thousand soldiers from PA, VA, NJ, & MD. This force marched into the area in rebellion to suppress it and collect the tax. Wouldn’t Lincoln’s actions in 1861 be legal as he was simply enforcing taxes levied by congress? Wasn’t Lincol just following the precedent set by the great George Washington?