The sick and wounded 30

Great commanders 32

Arming soldiers 34

Black volunteers 36

The horsemen 38

Army camp life

' Writing home

Field artillery 42

Gettysburg 44

The siege of Vicksburg 46

Northern life 48

Confederate culture 50

War on the water 52

The secret war 54

The March to the Sea 56

The Confederacy surrenders 58

The fates of two leaders 60

A life of freedom 62

A new era begins 64 Index

More captives on the afterdeck

Emaciated captives

The long argument


Americans who hated slavery formed organizations to try to end it and to embarrass slave owners.

One group's slogan was the question "Am I Not a Man and a Brother?" The members tried to force masters to admit that slaves were not farm property, but people like themselves.

More captives on the afterdeck

What rights does a state enjoy? Can it ignore a federal law with which it does not agree? Americans had been arguing about the powers of the national government versus the rights of states longer than they had been arguing about slavery. The issue of states' rights had caused shouting matches when America's founders were writing the U.S. Constitution in the late 1700s. During the 1830s, President Andrew Jackson had argued with South Carolina's legislators over a tariff law they did not want to enforce. Years later, the bickering revolved around the legality of slavery in new Western territories. If slaves were property and the right to own property was protected by the Constitution, could slave owners take their human property into territories or states where slavery was prohibited? In the 1850s, the argument erupted into guerrilla warfare between settlers in pro-slavery Missouri and their antislavery next-door neighbors in Kansas. Missouri Border Ruffians rode across the state line to burn farms and murder antislavery men. Kansas guerrillas, called Jayhawkers, retaliated. In time, the U.S. Army was called out to curtail this bloodletting. Some slave state patriots believed Southerners could never make peace with a strong national government. They called for states to leave the Union, a process called secession. In the prewar years, these secession advocates were called fire-eaters.

Emaciated captives

A SECESSION PROPHET Virginia agriculturist Edmund Ruffin believed the South had a different culture from the rest of the country.

The publisher of a farming journal, he turned to writing articles that promoted the establishment of a separate Southern nation. In the 1850s, he became a leading fire-eater, and in 1860 helped South Carolinians organize their secession campaign. He was given the honor of firing the cannon shot at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, that began the Civil War. After the conflict, he committed suicide rather than live under Union rule.


While congressmen feuded over states' rights issues, two present-day symbols of Washington, D.C., were unfinished. In the months before the war, both the Capitol's dome and the Washington Monument were under construction. The capital was not a very impressive place to work out the nation's problems.


The federal government outlawed the importation of new slaves from Africa in 1807. The South's need for more laborers was so great, however, that ship captains continued smuggling slaves into the country until the start of the Civil War. The people in this newspaper illustration were kidnapped in Africa in 1860. They were being shipped to the United States to be sold into slavery when U.S. Navy sailors rescued them.

Sumner was so badly injured that it took him years to recover. However, state voters reelected him to office, and he sewed throughout the War era.



Charles Sumner was a Massachusetts attorney who won national notice in the 1840s for representing an African American in what may have been the nation's first school desegregation case. Though he lost the case, he won the respect of state voters and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1851. In 1856, Sumner stood on the floor of the Senate for two days speaking out against slavery and its supporters. Among the people he tongue-lashed was Andrew Butler, a senator from South Carolina. Butler was not present to reply. However, two days later, his nephew, South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks, strode into the Senate and beat Sumner senseless with a cane. South Carolinians applauded Brooks for defending his family's honor.

Uncle Ruckus Whipping Tom
Cassy ministering to Uncle Tom after hts whipping


The novel Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life among the Lowly was published in 1852. It portrayed some cruelties of slavery, featured a wicked slave manager named Simon Legree, and excited readers with scenes of a chase after a runaway slave. This illustration from the book features its main character, a kind but abused slave named Uncle Tom. The book became wildly popular in the North and was turned into an even more popular play. Actors hated to perform it in pro-slavery towns, though, because performances caused fights and disorder.


Armed with a cannon, these Kansas citizens are ready to fight pro-slavery raiders from Missouri. This photograph was taken in the 1850s, a decade that saw violence over the slavery issue grow all around the nation. A pro-slavery mob lynched the publisher of an antislaverv newspaper in Alton, Illinois. A few Southern law officers were beaten when they tried to apprehend runaway slaves living in Northern towns.

Slave Leg Iron

Leg iron, which prevented a slave from bending the leg


Slave child. There was no one to care for young slaves, so they spent time in the fields from birth.

Auctioning slaves was a specialty for some of the auctioneering professionals._

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