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|With my dad at Shiloh National Battlefield
|Ruggles Battery behind us - 62 cannons that bombarded the Union in the Hornets Nest.
Welcome to The Civil War for Kids. A site for kids and
parents, by kids.
After my dad took
me to Gettysburg, I became a Civil War fanatic!
addition to learning about the Civil War, I learned that many of our Civil War Battlefields are endanger from people building
houses, stores, restaurants and cement factories. I also learned that most of my classmates in the 5th grade don't know about
the Civil War and how bad it was. While there are a lot of Civil War web sites, there really aren't many that help kids like
me understand what the Civil War was about, how many American's gave their life and what kids can do to make sure we don't
erase our history. Building on a battlefield is like erasing history. I didn't want to let that happen. So I asked my dad
to help start this web site to help you learn about the war, learn how to protect battlefields, help parents and have fun.
|I Help Save Civil War Battlefields
|Just wearing the Civil War Trust shirt gave me a chance to share preservation tips with people.
From the first fighting in the Civil War on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter in Charleston,
SC through the final battle at Palmito Ranch in South Texas on May 13, 1865 there were more than 620,000 Americans
killed or missing, thousands more wounded. Because record keeping was bad some people think that it was even more
than that, but regardless it was the bloodiest, most deadly war that we have ever fought in. I used to think that there were
really two main reasons that the war was fought - to end slavery and to protect the United States of America as a Union. Now,
after learning more about the war, it is clear to me that most people who supported the Federal cause wanted first and foremost
to preserve the Union. While President Lincoln eventually knew that preserving the Union required freeing the slaves, in 1862
he said: "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the
slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that." There were
also some slave holders who wanted to preserve the Union as it had been good for them and their business. I think that the
Confederate politicians believed that slavery (or a states right to engage in slavery) was a part of their way of life
they needed to fight to protect and drove their secession. I think most Confederate soldiers fought because the Union
forces threatened their land and lifestyle, more than "protecting slavery." And most of the Federal soldiers fought
to protect the Union created by our Founding Fathers not to free the slaves - though as the war went on that became more of
a reason. It was, in my opinion, slavery that was the one issue that threatened the Union and wa only going to be decided
While the war started in 1861 there were many events that led to the fighting. The election of Abraham
Lincoln as President in November 1860 made many people in the South believe that they had no choice but to no longer be part
of the United States, so they began to secede from the United States. That means they voted or decided they wanted to be separate
from the rest of the United States. Eleven states left the United States and formed the Confederate States of America (CSA),
called the Confederacy or sometimes just called the South, "Rebels" often "rebs" for short. There were
20 "free states" and five "border states" that mostly supported the federal government of the United States,
also called the Union or sometimes the solders were called "feds" or "Yankees." Even though the 11 states
"left the Union," President Lincoln did not take the stars of the American Flag, so it had 35 stars during the whole
war. Many people think a flag called "the stainless banner" was the Confederate flag, but it was actually a Confederate
battle flag as the official flag has 11 stars in a circle on a blue background, with two red strips outside a white stripe.
The Confederate soldiers changed to the battle flag because in the smoke, dust and confusion of battle it was hard to
tell the United States flag and Confederate States' flag apart.
The first state to secede was South
Carolina, where the fighting started. South Carolina was also the only state in the South that did not have any of its people
fight for the Union. Every other southern state had people fight with the Northern soldiers. After South Carolina, came
Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. These states elected Jefferson Davis as President of the Confederate
States of America. Two months after the first battle at Fort Sumter, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, then Tennessee joined
them. Tennessee was the last to secede and the first one to go back after the war.
According the the experts
I have read there were more than 10,000 battles, fights and skirmishes during the Civil War. According to the National Park
Service that protects many of our battlefield with help from organizations like The Civil War Trust, there were 391 battles
that were significant. That means that if you and your parents have time there are plenty of places you can go see and learn
about the Civil War. I plan to share some of what I learn about the sites I visit and those that are most endangered
of being destroyed by people or companies building on them.
I am a member of Civil War Trust. They
are the best organization in the world at saving Civil War battlefields. Many men gave their lives for their cause and we
are free today because of those battles. We can't let people destroy that history by building malls, stores or houses on this
special land. Remember that building or destroying a battlefield is just like erasing history. Us kids should not only
learn about the Civil War, we should help protect the battlefields so we can enjoy history with our parents and someday with
|Gettysburg, Edward McPherson Barn
|150 years later you can still see where a cannon ball hit a barn.
|Gettysburg, where I really got started.
|The site of Pickett's Charge was one of the places that really made me interested in the Civil War.
|Antietam is an amazing place.
|With Dad by the Witness Tree at Burnside Bridge
|Peach Orchard with Little Round Top in distance
|Gettysburg has some of the most famous sites in all the Civil War.