Watch this video to better understand the history, battles and important figures of the bloodiest conflict in U.S. History—the Civil War—and its aftermath.
Civil War Facts
U.S. troops engaged: 2,213,363
Battle deaths: 140,414
The northern states and the southern states fought over slavery and states' rights.
Seven states seceded from the Union—South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. Arkansas, North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee followed, bringing the final total of seceded states to 11.
They called themselves the Confederate States of America and named Jefferson Davis president.
The war began on April 12, 1861 when the Confederates fired on Charleston, S.C.'s Fort Sumner.
Confederate and Union soldiers met twice in Manassas, Va., and the battles are known as the first and second Battles of Bull Run. The Confederates won both engagements.
Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg in 1863 marked the turning point in the war.
The South surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia, in 1865.
More than 180,000 black soldiers fought in the Union Army. By the end of the war, they made up 10% of the Union troops. Both free Africans Americans and runaway slaves volunteered as soldiers.
The Union victory meant re-admission for the seceded states and ended slavery.
SeeThe Civil War for more details about the dates and events of this war.