"The Civil War," wrote historian Page Smith, "took place because the southern states felt that they could no longer tolerate their status as members of the Union." After the Civil War, enslaved African Americans gained their freedom and the federal government became a stronger force in citizens' lives.
Bloody fighting during the first two years of the Civil War made it clear to both the North and South that the struggle would be a long and difficult one.
Visit the Antietam Image Gallery to view photos and paintings from the time of the battle and "tour" the park through current photos.
The Union and the Confederacy struggled to raise and support their armies and to provide for the well-being of their citizens. President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation had a profound effect on both those efforts.
Despite Southern victories at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, the tide of the war turned in the summer of 1863, when the North won at Gettysburg and Vicksburg.
Read more about the equipment and clothing that Civil War soldiers typically carried, and create an advertisement aimed at selling these items to the soldiers.
After years of fighting, countless casualties, and considerable devastation, the South finally surrendered in April 1865. Three months later, Congress passed the Thirteenth Amendment, barring slavery.
Using the sites below, read about the events leading up to Lee's surrender to Grant. Report to your class about what you think is most interesting and important about the occasion.