On the twelfth of April, 1861, Confederate guns opened fire on Fort
Sumter in Charleston Harbor, thus beginning the bloodiest conflict in
American History--620,000 dead---more than all other American wars
The Civil War remains this nation's single most defining experience,
ultimately giving new meaning to the word Freedom.
Walt Whitman, a young newspaperman destined to become America's
greatest poet wrote : "Future years will never know the seething hell
and the black infernal background of this war -- and it is best they
should not -- the real war will never get in the books."