- from Civil War
Military bands played rousing tunes as thousands of marching feet thundered along the paved streets of New York. Excited throngs roared their support. It was spring of 1861, and the nation was at war—against itself.
After years of bitter disputes, 11 Southern states had seceded, which means they dissolved the union between themselves and the United States of America, and declared themselves the Confederate States of America. All over the country, men rushed to join military units. Many enlisted for only 90 days. Each side was certain it could beat the other in much less time than that.
The reality was quite different. The war lasted for four bloody years. About 2 million men marched off to war for the Union (North), and half that number fought for the Confederacy (South). And in the end, the war claimed 620,000 lives, and many more soldiers were wounded.
The war took more than a physical toll; it exacted an emotional toll as well. Brother fought brother, father fought son, daughters were estranged from parents.
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.