An enormous range of beliefs flowed across the political landscape of pre-Civil War America, and this is reflected in the rise and fall of a dozen different political parties that tried and failed to find a unifying political strategy that would end sectional strife. Only the events of April 12, 1861 would clarify this landscape and politicians of every description welcomed it… at first.
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Governor John Willis Ellis wasn't a secessionist but as leader of North Carolina and a Democrat, he knew he had to stand with his state. Read more
Gettysburg National Military Park
Though arguably one of the most accomplished figures of his time, Edward Everett is perhaps best known as the speaker who preceded Abraham Lincoln at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg. Read more
James Garfield was a Republican Party politician from Ohio who was rapidly promoted to major general in the Union army in the early months of the Civil War, and later elected President of the United States. He was the second U.S. president to be assassinated. Read more
James Henry Hammond was one of the South's most outspoken defenders of slavery, popularizing the phrase "Cotton is King" and arguing for nullification, states' rights and advancing the Mudsill Theory. Read more
Despite no military experience at the outbreak of the Civil War, Wade Hampton rose to become a lieutenant general in command of Robert E. Lee's cavalry, and after the war he was a symbol of South Carolina politics. Read more