The civil war (1861-1865) took more American lives than any other war in history. It divided the people of the United States that in some families brother fought against brother. The Civil War was between the Southern States, trying to preserve slavery and an agricultural way of life, and the Northern States, dedicated to a more modern way of life and to ending the expansion, later, the existence of slavery. The bloodshed left a heritage of grief and bitterness that declined only slowly and, even today, has not fully disappeared. .
The Civil War is also known as the War Between the States and the War of Secession. It started on April 12, 1861, when Southern troops fired on Fort Sumter, a U.S. military post in Charleston, South Carolina. The war ended four years later. On April 9, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House. The other Confederate armies gave up soon after. .
Calhoun, John Caldwell (1782-1850), of South Carolina, was a major American political figure before the Civil War. Calhoun played an important part in national affairs for 40 years. He was vice president of the United States from 1825 to 1832, and he ran for president several times but never won. He also served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and of the Senate, and as secretary of war and secretary of state. .
Taney Roger Brooke (1777-1864), was one of the great chief justices of the United States. But the merit of his work is clouded by his decision in the Dred Scott case, which helped bring on the Civil War (1861-1865). Taney said that Congress had no power to abolish slavery in the territories. .
Brown, John (1800-1859) was a radical abolitionist whose attempt to free the slaves took a number of lives and helped indirectly to bring on the Civil War. His ancestors had sailed to America in the early colonial period. He was born in Torrington, Connecticut, and lived as a child in Ohio.