The American Civil War

The American Civil War was also known as the War Between the States. The war started 1861 when 11 southern states seceded. They called themselves the Confederate States of America or the Confederacy. The staes in the U.S were the Union. Abraham Lincoln was President at the time.  And Jefferson Davis became the President of the Confederacy. Davis did not want to go to war, but Lincoln could not allow 11 states to leave the Union, because he thought it would set a bad example for the future. Any time a state didn’t like the rules they would just leave! There were some other important causes as well like the issue of slavery. The actual fighting between the Union and the Confederacy started on April of 1861. The first battle took place in Fort Sumter South Carolina. The Confederacy wanted to take the Union held Fort Sumter for its own, since South Carolina was a Confederate state. The Fort was successfully taken by the South and the civil war began. Every state had to decide which side to join. West Virginia was formed after parts of Virginia refused to secede to the Confederacy with the rest of the state. In the end 24 states stayed with the Union. The union was ready to fight. People lined up around the block to join the army. Everyone in the North thought the war would be fast and easy. After all, it was 24 states versus 11. Lincoln himself expected it to last 90 days. People would have picnics on the hills and watch the fighting. The North lost plenty of major battles in the beginning. In 1863 in the middle of the war, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves in Confederate controlled states. The Union army had formed units of all African American soldiers. Slavery was officially outlawed in all states in 1865 after the civil war ended. The battle of Gettysburg in the summer of 1863 was the beginning of the confederacy’s fall. Lincoln visited the battle sight and delivered his famous Gettysburg address. By 1865 the Confederacy was exhausted. The South turned to slaves for the army promising them freedom in return. General Lee surrendered to Ulusses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia on April 9th 1865. The war was over. Only five days later president Lincoln was assassinated while watching a play in Washington D.C. His killer was a man named John Wikes Booth, a Maryland actor who was angry about the South’s defeat. The civil war is one of America’s bloodiest wars with up to 700,000 people dead

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