My GG Grandfather was one of those poor Arkansas dirty farmers who didn't own a slave nor I don't believe ever had any hope of being able to afford one. They were expensive to obtain and even more expensive to keep and feed.
Yet he was one of the first to Volunteer in the 2nd Arkansas Battalion and wound up in the 3rd Arkansas Infantry. He did not come home. I believe that he lies in a ditch in Chickamauga, Georgia. That was the question, WHY?
Arkansas had the smallest slave population of all the southern states at 20% or the population in 1860, except for maybe Texas. Arkansas had voted to stay in the Union twice although tensions ran high in the State. Arkansas did not seceed until told by Lincoln that they would have to contribute to his call for 75,000 troops to "Put down the southern "Rebellion"". Arkansas' reply was, if we must fight we will fight with our friends, the southern states.
My Grandfather did not fight to keep any slaves. He did not care about slaves. He fought because the National government had declared war on fellow americans and his states was forced to make a decision, and thereby his home and family were threatened.