- from Civil War
Military bands played lively songs as thousands of marching feet pounded the streets of New York. Excited crowds roared their support. It was spring of 1861, and the nation was at war—against itself.
After years of bitter arguments, 11 Southern states had seceded. That means they’d broken their union with the United States of America. They now called themselves the Confederate States of America. Across the country, men rushed to join military units. Many enlisted for only 90 days. Each side was sure it wouldn’t take that long to beat the other.
The reality was very different. The war lasted for four bloody years. About 2 million men went to war for the Union (North). Half that number fought for the Confederacy (South). In the end, the war took 620,000 lives, and many more were wounded.
The war had more than a physical price. There was also an emotional cost. Brothers fought brothers. Fathers fought sons. Daughters and parents were driven apart.
What conflict was so deep that only war could settle it? Listen for the distant drumbeat, and watch smoke rise over the battlefield as you journey back in time.