The American Civil War took place between 1861 and 1865 after rifts between the slave-owning, anti-federalist South and the and the abolitionist centralist North grew seismic. Though the seceded states formed their own government in Alabama, the United States refused to recognize the Confederacy’s independence. Thus the first battle was struck on April 12, 1861 at South Carolina’s Fort Sumter.
War was declared, and the Union was so confident about their inevitable victory that women and children were invited to the first battles to picnic in the hills and watch the Confederate Army crumble.
Instead, the Union was crushed, and what was supposed to be a short campaign turned into a bitter and bloody four year war that tore families apart. Over 600,000 men died of battle wounds or, as was the norm for pre-20th century war, disease.
Though the early months of the war had diluted support in the North, slavery became the rallying cry behind reunification. Lincoln’s famed Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 had little effect in the Confederate States, but the cause of abolition was able to turn the tide for the Union.
Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee, G.W.C Lee, and Walter Taylor. Lee was an abolitionist, but his loyalty to his home state of Virginia outweighed his duty to the United States.
Union Drummers standby.
The Confederate Capital Arsenal.
A Confederate soldier lays dead after battle.