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The ardent slave holder, supporter of the Confederacy and the man who fired the first shot of the Civil War, Edmund Ruffin was born January 5th 1794.

Julia Ward Howe -wrote the words to "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" .She was inspired by her abolitionist work . The song was popular in the union during the civil war. After being widowed she worked tirelessly for womens sufferage . She became a pacifist because of her horror at the Civil War carnage.

Even before blacks were officially recognized as federal soldiers, many slaves like Nick Biddle escaped and joined Union lines. In 1861, he wore a uniform, traveled with his employee’s company to Baltimore to help protect Washington, D.C., after the surrender of Fort Sumter. Once there, he was set upon by a pro-Confederate mob, attacked with slurs and a brick that hit him in the head so severely it exposed his skull. Some consider him the first man wounded in the Civil War.

Claus von Stauffenberg, the man who tried to kill Hitler on 20 July 1944

Map of the Confederacy

Laura, Mary and Carrie Ingalls - 1881

First picture of Abraham Lincoln

Robert E. Lee, around age 38, and his son William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, around age 8, c.1845

Civil War Jesse James

After being shot dead on April 3rd, 1882, Jesse James' body was tied to a board for this picture to be taken.

A pair of former slaves, photographed after their escape. Across the South, in the years leading up to the war, the thought of slave uprisings struck fear in the hearts of slave-owners. (Corbis)

General Robert E. Lee. Robert E. Lee is no doubt one of the most respected figures to ever walk the stage of human history. He was loved by his soldiers, revered by his peers, respected by his enemies, and even his former slaves and servants cherished the time they were given to be with him. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Robert E. Lee was so respected that President Abraham Lincoln offered him the position of Commander of the Union Forces. Lee’s response was that he would not take sides...

Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was the first woman awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, for her work as a surgeon during the Civil War.

Out of the approx. 750,000 soldiers that fought for the South, these were the last three surviving Confederate Civil War veterans. Photo taken in 1951

Civil War-era couple

*PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN ~ Before and after the civil war…In November 1860 Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States. In January 1861, South Carolina seceded from the Union, followed by six more states before Lincoln's inauguration. On April 12, 1861, the American Civil War began with shots fired at Fort Sumter.

Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart one of the Confederacy's most celebrated officers and Lee's favorite cavalry commander. He did not survive the war.

Edmund Ruffin fired the first shot at Fort Sumter, officially kicking off the Civil War. With Lee's Surrender at Appomattox, Ruffin committed Suicide, Shooting himself in the head. Hence, he is often associated with shooting the first and last shots of the Civil War. Picture ca. 1860-65

Civil War Artillery.. Love this shot!!

Colourized Civil War picture.

Rocky Hill Castle is a historic plantation home in Courtland, Alabama. Built in the 1820s, but when the Civil War broke out it was used by Confederates as a hospital. Some say that the spirits of Civil War soldiers and tortured slaves haunt the premises, as well as the mysterious 'lady in blue'.