The American Civil War was a civil war fought from 1861 to 1865, to determine the integrity of the United States of America as it defeated the bid for independence by the breakaway Confederate States of America. Among the 34 states in January 1861, seven Southern slave states individually declared their secession from the U.S. and formed the Confederate States of America. War broke out in April 1861 when they attacked a U.S. fortress, Fort Sumter, and ended with the surrender of all the Confederate armies in spring 1865.
The Confederacy, colloquially known as the South, grew to include eleven states; it claimed two more states and several western territories. The Confederacy was never diplomatically recognized by any foreign country. The states that remained loyal including border states where slavery was legal, were known as the Union or the North. The war had its origin in the factious issue of slavery, especially the extension of slavery into the western territories. Four years of intense combat left 750,000 soldiers dead, and destroyed much of the South's infrastructure. The Confederacy collapsed and slavery was abolished in the entire country. The Reconstruction Era (1863–1877) overlapped and followed the war, with its fitful process of restoring national unity, strengthening the national government, and guaranteeing civil rights to the freed slaves....LESS