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Civil War Records

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The American Civil War (1861–1865), also known as the War Between the States (among other names), was a civil war in the United States of America. Eleven Southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America, also known as “the Confederacy.” Led by Jefferson Davis, the Confederacy fought against the United States (the Union), which was supported by all the free states (where slavery had been abolished) and by five slave states that became known as the border states.

Hostilities began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked a U.S. military installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Lincoln responded by calling for a volunteer army from each state to recapture federal property. This led to declarations of secession by four more slave states. Both sides raised armies as the Union assumed control of the border states early in the war and established a naval blockade. In September 1862, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation made ending slavery in the South a war goal, and dissuaded the British from intervening.

1861-1865

Records for the Civil War

Civil War Cemeteries

Civil War Battlefield Maps

Civil War Databases

Records by State

All States

Civil War Subscription Databases

Suggested Reading

Fields of Honor: Pivotal Battles of the Civil War – Bearss presents the story of the Civil War as he has in the battlefield tours he has conducted for many years. A former chief historian of the National Parks Service, he chronicles 14 crucial battles, including Fort Sumter, Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Sherman’s march through the Carolinas, and Appomattox, the battles ranging between 1861 and 1865; included is an introductory chapter describing John Brown’s raid in October 1859.

The Complete Civil War Road Trip Guide – The book outlines ten suggested itineraries for short road trips that cover every major battle of the war that will enable a traveler to experience this definitive period of American history. For those who can’t resist trying to see it all, the book contains complete information on and reviews of almost 450 historical sites across the United States related to the Civil War, including all 384 of the principal battlefields listed by the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission, as well as lodging and other travel information.

 


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