The Civil War and Reconstruction (1860-1877)
The Great Mistake - Why Did the South Secede in 1860?
Although the Civil War was disastrous for the South, there's been little analysis on the wisdom of seceding in 1860. Here we examine the alternatives.
- David Herbert Donald - Lincoln
- Bruce Catton - The Coming Fury (vol. 1 of a three volume series)
- Shelby Foote - The Civil War: A Narrative (vol. 1 of a three volume series)
- Eric Foner - The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery
- Bruce Levine - The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution That Transformed the South
- John Hope Franklin - Reconstruction after the Civil War
- Tera W. Hunter - To 'Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women's Lives and Labors after the Civil War
- Michael F. Holt - By One Vote: The Disputed Presidential Election of 1876
Timeline of the Civil War and Reconstruction
- 1860 - Abraham Lincoln wins the Presidential election, defeating several rival candidates. In most Southern states he does not receive a single vote.
- 1860 - South Carolina becomes the first state to secede from the United States on December 20.
- 1861 - The Civil War begins with the barrage of Fort Sumter on April 12. The Federal garrison is forced to surrender to Confederate forces.
- 1862 - Bloodiest day of the Civil War -- Antietam claims 3,654 lives on September 17.
- 1863 - Bloodiest battle of the Civil War - Gettysburg is fought from July 1-3, with 7,863 killed.
- 1865 - General Robert E. Lee surrenders his army on April 9th at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the Civil War.
- 1865 - Abraham Lincoln is assassinated on April 14th by John Wilkes Booth, an unrepentant secessionist.
- 1865 - The 13th Amendment ends slavery in the United States. Reconstruction begins in the South.
- 1866 - The Ku Klux Klan and other paramilitary groups are formed to resist Reconstruction.
- 1869 - The first Transcontinental Railroad is completed when the "Golden Spike" is driven in Promontory, Utah. The age of the railroad tycoon begins.
- 1870 - John Rockefeller and Henry Flagler form Standard Oil Company.
- 1873 - The Panic of 1873 touches off "The Long Depression".
- 1877 - The disputed election of 1876 is awarded to the Republican candidate, Rutherford Hayes, in a compromise. Federal troops are withdrawn from the South and the Reconstruction era ends.