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The 1863 Union Siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. Lee's Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg. Lee's escape attempt ended with his surrender at Appomattox Court House, on April 9, 1865.
While the military war was coming to an end, the political reintegration of the nation was to take another 12 years, known as the Reconstruction Era.
Later, in 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal.
To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy, then much of their western armies, and seized New Orleans. Inflicting an ever-tightening naval blockade of Confederate ports, the Union marshaled the resources and manpower to attack the Confederacy from all directions, leading to the fall of Atlanta to William T. The last significant battles raged around the Siege of Petersburg.
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Slavery was the central source of escalating political tension in the 1850s.The Reconstruction Era (1863–1877) overlapped and followed the war, with the process of restoring national unity, strengthening the national government, and granting civil rights to freed slaves throughout the country. In the 1860 presidential election, Republicans, led by Abraham Lincoln, supported banning slavery in all the U. The three pro-Union candidates together received an overwhelming 82% majority of the votes cast nationally: Republican Lincoln's votes centered in the north, Democrat Stephen A.The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U. Douglas' votes were distributed nationally and Constitutional Unionist John Bell's votes centered in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia. states in February 1861, seven Southern slave states individually declared their secession from the U. to form the Confederate States of America, or the South.Four years of intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 people dead, more than the number of U. military deaths in all other wars combined (at least until approximately the Vietnam War).