Civil War (Members Only)

History of the Civil War

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Our digital history of the Civil War begins with the sectional conflict over slavery that led to the war. With the election of Republican Abraham Lincoln in 1860, thirteen slave states seceded and formed the Confederate States of America. The federal government (the “Union”) held that secession was illegal. Military action was begun by the secessionists with their attack on Fort Sumter, and the Union responded with attacks of its own.

The Civil War would become the deadliest war in American history, resulting in the deaths of approximately some 700,000 soldiers (many from battlefield infection and disease) and many civilians. At first, the Union fought simply to preserve the Union. But as the casualty toll mounted after 1863, Lincoln delivered his Emancipation Proclamation, indicating that the purpose of the war had become that of ending slavery. When the Union won the war in April 1865, each of the states in the defeated Confederacy was required to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, which prohibited slavery. The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments were also ratified, granting citizenship to the freed slaves along with the right to vote. But civil liberties remained largely hypothetical for African Americans in the South for generations to come.

That said, here’s our assortment… please enjoy! When you’re done perusing a map, click the ⇠ back arrow link in the upper left of your screen (not the < link), and you’ll be back here. Any problems, please get in touch at [email protected]


Civil War Index | Society | Power | Secession | The Confederacy: States’ RightsUnion Army | Fort Sumter | Progression of the War | Money and Manpower | Governance: The ConfederacyWartime PoliticsPolitics of Emancipation | Battles and Campaigns: CommandersOpening ClashesVirginia FrontPeninsular CampaignWestern TheaterThe West Turning of the TideFinal Stage | Strategy and Diplomacy: EuropeSea Power

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