Civil War - Battle of Atlanta
Library of Congress

Civil War

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The American Civil War was the defining event in our nation’s history. Between 1861 and 1865 10,000 battles and engagements were fought across the continent, from Vermont to the New Mexico Territory, and beyond. The four-year struggle between north and south made heroes of citizen soldiers, forever changed the role of women in society, and freed more than 3 million slaves. In the end, 620,000 or more Americans were left dead in its wake. Explore the many battlefields, along with myriad stories and personalities, of this crucial period in American history.


Explore the Civil War


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The Entire Civil War Animated Map

The four-year struggle of the Civil War affected every American in every part of our divided nation.  Now, the sprawling conflict unfolds in this animated map.  Follow key figures like Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee through the major battles and campaigns from Fort Sumter to Appomattox and beyond.  Watch the Animated Map

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Battle Apps

Civil War Trust mobile apps include visitor guides and battle examinations, which will help you unlock American history — whether you are on the battlefield or at home. All of our GPS-enabled mobile apps can be downloaded for free from the iTunes Store and Google Play for use on your smart phone, tablet or other mobile device.  Learn more

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Overview of the Civil War

The Civil War is the central event in America's historical, resolving fundamental questions about what kind of nation it would be.  Would the United States was to be a dissolvable confederation of sovereign states or an indivisible nation with a sovereign national government; and whether this nation, born of a declaration that all men were created with an equal right to liberty, would continue to exist as the largest slaveholding country in the world.  Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson provides an overview of America's defining conflict.  Read more


Civil War Battles