By Dean Swift
Like all civil wars, none of which are the least civil, the American Civil War was a murderous and bloody conflict between brothers, fathers and sons, uncles and nephews and cousins. In other words, it was fratricidal. It lasted four years, and had to take place basically because eleven Southern states wished to leave the Union. The war was fought between the United States’ federal government and the Confederate States of America.
The conflict started on April 12th, 1861. After a bombardment mostly without casualties, Federal leader Robert Anderson surrended Fort Sumter in the harbour mouth of Charleston, South Carolina. His garrison consisted of around 85 soldiers. He had been besieged by around 5,500 Confederate troops under Beauregard.