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According to historian Shelby Foote, the American Civil War was actually a rebellion rather than a civil war, with a group of states attempting to secede from the United States and form an independent nation, the Confederate States of America. As such, the war began in late December 1860 with the secession of South Carolina from the United States. South Carolina was followed by 10 other southern states over the course of the next 4 months. Open hostilities between the newly formed Confederate States of America and the United States are generally regarded to have begun on April 12, 1861, with the bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor—a federal property the United States had refused to surrender to the South Carolina authorities. The war ...

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