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The Civil War, one of the bloodiest wars fought on American soil, lasted for four years. Between 620,000 and 750,000 American soldiers died during this time.

Beginning of the War

The Civil War began on April 12, 1861, when the Confederates bombed and took over Fort Sumter in South Carolina. No lives were lost during this first battle, but this was enough reason for Lincoln to start recruiting for war.


End of the War

Four years later, the Confederates were largely destroyed, and the surrender of the last major Confederate army under Gen. Robert E. Lee on April 9, 1865 at the Appomattox Court House, Virgina is considered to have ended the war. A couple of smaller battles were still fought after this date, however.


Would you like to learn the complete history of the Civil War? Click here for our podcast series Key Battles of the Civil War

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"How Long Did the Civil War Last?" History on the Net
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