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1) "The Civil War wasn't about slavery, it was about the fedgov wanting to preserve itself"

Why did the federal gov't want to preserve the Union? The Southern states publicly declared their intent to violate individual rights within the institution of slavery. Such an immoral entity therefore loses its ethical position within the political arena

2) "If Lincoln's motives were to end slavery there were other ways to go about it"

Perhaps so, while the point of your conjecture remains mute since Lincoln's judgment was correct regarding a malicious state