Know your history. Know who Lincoln was; find out something of his background as a writer; understand the particular ethos the remarkable Civil War President's world view emerged from. Then read the Gettysburg Address again. Read it if at all possible at the site where it was delivered.
Discover a few of the personal stories that go with the tens of thousands of casualties those few days in early July of 1863. Listen to the voices that speak from the soil.
Rebekah and I stood at Mead's position and looked down across the mile of open fields that Picket marched his men across to certain death. We then walked the mile down the steady slope to Lee's line and looked back across the unspeakable gap that stood between those in blue and those in grey. Then we walked back, wondering at how a mass of infantry could move with such deliberation across such terrain while scores of artillery pieces hurled canister and shrapnel into their ranks. It was a long walk.
And so I became a pacifist again. I'm always close and it doesn't take much to put me back over the edge. I can't for the life of me understand war, not emotionally - and that's all that I have as a viewpoint, at least for this evening.