For four long arduous years, April 1861 to April 1865, the only major war waged on U.S. soil was fought between the Confederate States of America and the United States of America. The roots of the Civil War dated back eighty-five years earlier when not all issues between the original thirteen states were solved through the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Most notable of these was the question of states’ rights and the question of slavery.
Abraham Lincoln had been president for just a little over a month when eleven Southern States seceded from the United States. Then in the early morning hours of April 12, 1861 the Confederate Army under General Pierre Beauregard opened fire on Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina. This marked the beginning of the Civil War, a war that continues to intrigue historians and amateur scholars.
The Civil War cast a long shadow over the end of the nineteenth century—indeed; many of its conflicts are unresolved to this day. In the essay that follows by Charles Baker you will we presented with some of the problems that materialized because of the Civil War. After reading the essay, look through the investigative questions that follow it. You will find other supporting documents in this module that will help guide your research. Finally, you might want to conduct a comparative study about veterans from other wars, including Vietnam, and the Iraqi Wars.