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The American Civil War   (• = Interactive)
 John Brown's Raid, 1859
Robert E. Lee, commander of the U.S. forces that responded to the attack, describes John Brown's attempt to capture the arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Va.

 John Brown Defends His Raid, 1859
"You are guilty of a great wrong against God and humanity." Facing execution, abolitionist John Brown describes the motivation for his attempt to free the slaves.

 Fort Sumter, the First Shot of the Civil War, 1861
The majority of Southern leaders did not believe that their secession from the Union would lead to war - Fort Sumter proved them wrong.

 Views of President Lincoln, 1861
Revered today as one of America's greatest presidents, this perspective of Lincoln was not widely held in 1861. Read some contemporary views of America's 16th president.

 An Early Casualty of the Civil War, 1861
"He fell forward on the floor of the hall and expired instantly, only exclaiming 'My God.' " A close friend of President Lincoln becomes one of the first casualties of America's bloodiest conflict as he loses life within sight of the White House.

 AntietamThe First Battle of Bull Run, 1861
The first major battle of the Civil War took place 20 miles from Washington. Union supporters thought it would be a cake-walk - it wasn't.

 The Battle Of the Ironclads, 1862
The Monitor and the Merrimac square off and make naval history. Experience the battle from inside the Monitor's gun turret.

 The Battle Of Shiloh, 1862
The first major slaughter of the American Civil War.

 Battlefield Tragedy, 1862
Father and son meet on the battlefield.

  Carnage at Antietam, 1862
The bloodiest day of combat in American military history.

 President Lincoln Signs the Emancipation Proclamation, 1863
"His signature was attached to one the greatest and most beneficent military decrees of history in the presence of less than a dozen people."

 William Quantrill Raids Lawrence, Kansas, 1863
"The troops then dashed back up into the town, down the main street, shooting at every blue coat that came in sight.." A Confederate raiding party that includes future Western outlaws Jessie James and Cole Younger sacks a pro-Union town in Kansas.

 Bread Riot in Richmond, 1863
"Something very sad has just happened in Richmond..." Shortages on the Confederate home front lead to violence.

 The Battle Of Gettysburg
Battle of Gettysburg The memories of a 15-year-old girl as she watches Union and Confederate troops clash in her home town.

  Pickett's Charge, 1863
"General, shall I advance"” Often referred to as the South’s "High Water Mark" during the Civil War, the unsuccessful Confederate attack on Union lines during the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg was absolute carnage.

 Lee's Retreat from Gettysburg, 1863
The agonizing escape of the Confederate Army across the Potomac River.

 Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, 1863
"It is a flat failure..." Lincoln remarked after the audience's lack of reaction to his speech at Gettysburg.

 Sherman's March to the Sea, 1864: a Southerner's Perspective
"Oh God, the time of trial has come." A Southern woman describes the scene as her plantation is overrun by Sherman's March to the Sea.

 Lincoln Enters Richmond, 1865
President Lincoln tours the Confederate capital after its capture.

 Surrender At Appomattox
Grant and Lee meet to end the Civil War.

 President Lincoln is Shot, 1865
"I heard the discharge of a pistol behind me." An eyewitness sitting with the President at Ford's Theater describes his assassination.

 The Death of Abraham Lincoln, 1865
"The giant sufferer lay extended diagonally across the bed." The 16th President "joins the ages."

 The Death Of John Wilkes Booth
Lincoln's assassin is trapped and shot in a burning barn in Virginia.

 The Civil War Ends
A young girl's diary reveals the impact of the end of the Civil War and Lincoln's death on a small Union town.

 The South in Defeat, 1865
"We still remain in doubt as to the emancipation policy." A Georgia plantation owner's diary provides insight into life in the South immediately following the defeat of the Confederacy.

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