Just another quote out of context. Another day in secession and politics. I admire the Chutzpah in turning a fictional account in an antislavery movie about former slaves attacking a fort of a slaveholding republic into some sort of pro-slavery apology argument.And that quote, which is often presented here as having some sort of relationship to the issues between north and south, i.e. slavery, is itself an example of misinterpretation, IMHO. In my view Tripp is speaking to the mistakes and personal crimes he has committed in his own life and he saw a "need" to make up for it, to try to make it right, so to speak. And thus, his heroic death in assault upon Battery Wagner.
Its being latched onto as a metaphor for slavery, and thus equivocation, is a tragedy. Again IMHO.
Memory and Myth: The Civil War in Fiction and Film from Uncle Tom's Cabin to Cold Mountain
edited by David B. Sachsman, S. Kittrell Rushin