Here's an Overview of the American Civil War: 1861 to 1865

What Happened During the Civil War?

The American Civil War was a four-year war between the Union and the Confederate states. The central tension between the two sides originated around whether slavery should still exist or not. This tension is what caused the southern states to break away from the Union and form the Confederacy.

When the people elected Abraham Lincoln in 1860, he was against slavery. This stance angered the southern states because they were the states that overwhelmingly had slaves. This anger prompted seven states to succeed from the Union. This number grew to eleven. As tensions rose, Confederate forces marked the beginning of the Civil War by attacking Fort Sumter in April 1861.

Confederate forces gained control of Fort Sumter, which boosted morale among the soldiers. Economically, the Union had the advantage during the war. They had more robust manufacturing and production. The Confederate forces had strong leadership and on their side. Although the south got an initial lead, the north would eventually overpower them. The entire war left between 620,000 to 750,000 soldiers dead.

The Soldiers Lifestyle on Camp

Soldiers spent most of their life during the war at camp. They may only spend about a day fighting during a month. Camps consisted of large groups of sleeping tents, medical tents, and food storages. Camp life was boring for many soldiers.

Diseases were the actual killer in the war, resulting in around 400,000 deaths. Hygiene was unheard of, so diseases were able to spread quickly. In medical tents, surgeons did not clean their equipment. The camp's water source was also usually contaminated. Dysentery and Typhoid are two diseases that were widespread due to this. 

Betting was a massive form of entertainment for the soldiers at the camp. They would wager beans on poker, horse racing, and dice, to name a few. Nowadays, people can do their betting online at sites like

How it Ended

Union troops eventually pressured the Confederate Army to surrender. The Union applied this pressure through their arm and railroad production, as well as their higher population. The northern states beat out the south by having a long-term economic advantage. The south faced many food and arms shortages as a result.

The first significant step towards the Civil War ending was General Robert E. Lee surrendering. Lee had control of a massive army. General Johnson E. Johnson surrendered after hearing the news, which was another top general. After this, it was clear that The Union defeated the southern states.