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The first battle in the American Civil War was fought at Fort Sumter. The Civil War lasted from 1861- 1865 and was often called the "War Between the States". The war was fought because 11 southern states wanted to leave the United States of America forming the Confederate states of America also called the "Confederacy". The loyalists of the United States government were called the "Union". The main cause of the Civil War in America was slavery. Slavery was very common in the southern states, including all 11 that joined the Confederates, and it was illegal in most of the northern states. After Abraham Lincoln, who disliked slavery, was elected president of the United States the Confederate states tried to leave the Union. The war began on April 12, 1861 when Confederate soldiers attacked Fort Sumter. Many soldiers on both sides died during the war. The union eventually won the war in 1865.The majority of the war was fought in the South and many railroads, farms and houses were destroyed during the war. Most people in the south became very poor after the war. After the war ended the president pardoned all of the Confederate soldiers in the southern states and allowed them to rejoin the United States again. 620,000 people died in the American Civil War.