One theme that comes up over and over as Horowitz travels through the Deep South is division; specifically, there is still a racial divide between many whites and blacks over the cause of the war and the relevance of slavery in the debates leading up to the firing of shots at Fort Sumter. The apologist argument generally focuses on political philosophies only as they affected the Southern way of life; Confederate ancestors were fighting for states' rights, for their people first. Many people Horowitz interviewed discounted slavery as almost a non-issue in the politics of the war. Noted historian Shelby Foote mentioned in his visit with Horowitz that most Southerners then and now operate from a philosophy of "One's people before one's principles", saying the Southern code decreed that one must "be with my people, right or wrong. Even if I was against slavery, I'd still be with the South." Students of the antebellum South know that Southern allegiance was always to the state first, rather than to the United States as a nation. General Robert E. Lee was first offered command of the Union forces by Abraham Lincoln, but after an agonizing night of contemplation determined that he didn't want to take up arms against his nation, but that he absolutely could not do it against his home state of Virginia.