American Civil War *10 Surprising Facts

In 1861, the southern state of South Carolina seceded from the Union, prompting other states to follow suit and form their own confederate states in an attempt to protect their rights as they saw it under the Constitution.

On April 12th, 1861, Confederate forces opened fire on Fort Sumter and began fighting against Union troops stationed there.

The Civil War ended in 1865 with the surrender of General Robert E Lee, who was in charge of leading the Confederate Army against the Union forces led by General Ulysses S Grant.

1. The War was not only about Slavery

There was a lot of cultural and economic differences between the northern and southern states. Slavery was one of the major causes for this war but it was not the only reason for the conflict.

Though slavery is what many people associate with this war, there were many other reasons behind it, including economic ones and differences in culture.

2. Abraham Lincoln was not the only President During the War

There was a lot of cultural and economic differences between the northern and southern states. Although Abraham Lincoln was president during the civil war, he wasn’t the only president during this time period.

Between 1861-1865, there were six presidents that served in office.

3. There were more Casualties in the Civil War than any other war in American History

There was a lot of cultural and economic differences between the northern and southern states. The war lasted from 1861 until 1865 with more casualties than any other war in American history, as well as being one of the first wars to have battles fought by an all-volunteer army.

4. Most of the Battles were Fought in the South

There was a lot of cultural and economic differences between the northern and southern states. Majority of the battles were fought in the South, with only two battles taking place in Tennessee.

The first battle in Tennessee took place on December 31, 1864 when Confederate General John Bell Hood attacked Union forces under General James S. Negley at Spring Hill, Tennessee.


5. The North had more People, but the South had more Soldiers

The North had more people, but the South had more soldiers. The population of the North was much higher than that of the South, and most people in the south were farmers while most people in the north were working class.

The Southern economy depended on slavery, which made up a major part of their labor force. Slaves were cheaper than free labor because they didn’t have to be paid or provided with healthcare or food.

6. The South had Better Generals

The Southern states genrally had better generals than their Northern counterparts and although they lost the war, they were able to inflict a lot more casualties on their opponents.

Robert E. Lee was one of the best Confederate generals and he never lost a battle in his entire career. The most significant battle of the war, Gettysburg, was won by the North but it was very close and could have gone either way with more discipline and better leadership from Northern General George Meade.

7. The North had Better Supplies

The north had a more diverse economy, better supplies, and was much wealthier than the south. The Union army consisted of about 1 million soldiers, most of which were volunteers from the North, while the Confederate army consisted of only 400 thousand men.

With such a large disparity in numbers and equipment it was nearly impossible for the South to win.

8. The first battle of the War was actually in Virginia

The first battle of the war was actually in Virginia on July 18, 1861. The Union army had a small victory and it wasn’t until the Battle of Antietam that the Union army had a major victory.

This battle is considered to be one of the bloodiest battles in all of American history with 23,000 casualties.

9. The Last Battle of the War was in Texas

The last major battle of the war was fought in Texas. On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

The surrender signaled the end of a four year long war that had claimed over six hundred thousand lives and left many more wounded.

10. The Emancipation Proclamation only Freed Slaves in the Confederate States

The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order by President Abraham Lincoln that freed slaves in the Confederate states. Before this, slavery existed in both the Union and Confederate states.

It was not until after the end of the Civil War when slavery finally ended in America.