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Facts About The South During the Civil War: Lesson for Kids

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Instructor: Debra Patuto

Debra has taught at elementary levels and has an M.ed with certification in elementary education and special education

This lesson is about the South during the American Civil War. We'll take a close look at important facts about the South, and see how a strong determination to keep the nation together as one led to a horrific war. Updated: 03/02/2020

The American Civil War

Have you ever found yourself arguing with a sibling over what movie was better, what ride at the park was best, or what sports team is better than another? The Civil War has been described by some as brother versus brother.

The Civil War was a war between the states that began on April 12, 1861 and ended on May 9, 1865. The Union, which refers to the United States, fought against the Confederate States of America, which were the 11 southern states that seceded from the Union.

The South was worried that if Abraham Lincoln was elected as president, slavery would be abolished and states' political rights would be taken away. Just after Lincoln was elected in 1860, 11 states withdrew from the Union to create their own government.

Abraham Lincoln hoped for a peaceful resolution, but believed that the United States needed to stick together and refused to accept the separation.

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  • 0:04 The American Civil War
  • 0:55 The Confederate States…
  • 1:20 The War Itself
  • 2:08 Women in the War
  • 2:42 Music and Money
  • 3:14 Lesson Summary
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The Confederate States of America

By 1861, the Confederate States of America had been formed. The Confederate states were Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas. They were joined by Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia after the Battle of Fort Sumter, the first battle of the war. They had their own president, Jefferson Davis, and their own Confederate Flag.

The War Itself

Robert E. Lee served as a general for the Confederate Army from 1861 to 1865. He led 60,000 men. Forty percent of the soldiers came from southern farms. They knew the region well and were fighting to defend their home, honor, and family.

The war was horrific, with over 50 major battles over the course of four years. Many men lost their lives or were injured. By 1865, Lee was still in high command, but after losing more than half of his troops and making a final attempt to escape during the Battle of Appomattox Court House, he surrendered his entire army.

By the time the Confederates surrendered in 1865, more than 620,000 soldiers had been killed, with 1 million injured out of 2.4 million on both sides. There was also widespread devastation throughout the South.

Women in the War

Did you know many women fought in the Civil War? You may not have recognized them because more than 400 women disguised themselves as men in order to fight.

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