Digital Commonwealth

American Civil War Collection

Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library

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Following the November 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) as President of the United States, seven states in which slavery was legal individually seceded from the Union. They did so because of Lincoln’s opposition to the expansion of slavery in the western United States. South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas declared themselves the Confederate States of America (C.S.A.), and established a capital first in Montgomery, Alabama and then in Richmond, Virginia. War broke out in March 1861 with the Battle of Fort Sumter near Charleston, South Carolina. Waged between 1861 and 1865, the American Civil War caused at least 1,030,000 casualties, including about 620,000 soldier deaths. The items in this collection are a selection of documents and ephemera created during, and often about, the American Civil War.

Locations in this Collection: