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Most modern wars are known by one name: World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War. The American Civil War, commonly called the Civil War, has many names, especially in the states of the former Confederacy. It is known as the War of Southern Secession, the War Between the States, the War of Northern Aggression, the Second War of Independence, and the Second American Revolution. After the war, it was often referred to as “the Recent Unpleasantness.” Here we shall call it simply the Civil War.

It was the most destructive war in U.S. history, with over 600,000 deaths – more than all other American wars combined. Given that our current population is almost ten times what it was in 1860, it would be the equivalent of six million dying in battle today.

The World & I Online has created this collection from more than 1,000 Civil War articles written by some 200 authors and published in its sister publication the Washington Times over the years, and the collection will continue to be enriched by new articles on a regular basis. In these accounts you will find many new and unique details – possibly some unusual trait dealing with Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis, for example. Article topics range from the introduction of slavery in 1619 and the founding of the United States in 1776 to battle accounts during the war and current historical research and efforts to save battlefields from the encroachment of shopping centers and housing developments.

To make this substantial body of material most useable in the classroom, we turned to the state standard objectives for the Civil War. As you know, though, each state varies in its approach to Civil War study. Some focus on major battles and wartime events. Others stress the causes, course, and consequences of the war. Still others examine the beliefs and values of the major personalities. And some place more emphasis on events before and after the war. You will find all these topics and more addressed in the nine major sections listed in the column at right.

We encourage you to make full use of this collection, for it holds a wealth of insight into this most significant period in U.S. history. And we also welcome your comments and suggestions on the collection.


The rotating Civil War images above are presented courtesy of the Library of Congress and the National Archives and Registration Administration.
    The Slavery Period

The American Revolution, Constitution and Founding
Fathers (1770-1820)

Jacksonian Democracy, Abolitionism and the Failure
of Unity (1820-1860)
    1861       1863        1865
1862       1864
    Abraham Lincoln
Other Unionists
Jefferson Davis
Other Confederates
    Ulysses S. Grant
Other Union Leaders

Robert E. Lee
Other Confederate Leaders
  Union Soldiers and Sailors
Confederate Soldiers and Sailors
Northern Civilians
Southern Civilians
  Slavery During the War
The Growth of Freedmen
The Emancipation Proclamation
United States Colored Troops
  The North
The South
From Slavery to Freedom
– and Back Again
  Washington, DC, Area During the War
Richmond During the War
The Medical Field During the War
Modern Events About the Civil War
Movies About the Civil War
Newspapers, Magazines, Books on the Civil War


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