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One scholar termed the Civil War story and its beginning as the most felt history. This is because Civil War cut to the core of the US national experience (BOA #10, 2). Participating in the Civil War was the worst thing that could happen to any individual and no single person can understand the experience unless he or she lived it.
The hostilities began when the Confederate fired upon Fort Sumter. On April 13 1861, the Home News Extra in Marietta, Ohio published terrible news re what was happening at Fort Sumter. The paper wrote about the fleet entering into the harbour for reinforcing Major Anderson. Battles continued to rage and Fort Sumter’s roof was set on fire. Major Anderson stopped firing to try to extinguish the fire. War vessels could not go in due to the ebbing tide and the Fort Moultrie was disabled. The fort burnt the whole night and these but calmly Lincoln received these reports regarding the ensuing confrontation. Fort Sumter then flew the flag at half-mast to show that they were in distress (BSL 505).
No individual could have imagined how terrible the Civil War would be. Some people did not want to participate in the Confederacy but when it ended, three million men had participated and the casualties had reached one million. The casualties included those that were missing in action, killed, wounded. The Civil War began as a small war of soldiers against fellow soldiers. The war was supposed to restore national unity in the country. By l863, the war had become one against civilians and soldiers. Moreover, it had become a violent upheaval, a social revolution, which destroyed the slave-holding civilization (BOA #11, 2). Lee was one of the people who felt torn by the idea of joining the Confederacy. Winfield Scott chose him to serve as the union’s field commander. He resigned after the state convention voted to secede. He told his sister that he could not raise his hand against his birthplace,
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