And The War Came On 12 April 1861, a military unit representing the Confederate States of America, the seven southern states that had seceded from the Union, attacked Fort Sumter . The presence of the Union-controlled post in South Carolina provoked Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy , to order strikes. Within two days, the commander stationed at Sumter surrendered. But the assault spurred United States President Abraham Lincoln to rally thousands of troops to crush what he viewed as an insurrection ripening in the South. With that, the Civil War began. "Both sides deprecated war," Lincoln remarked later, "but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came." 20 A Fatal Precedent? In effect, Jefferson Davis triggered an explosion that would ultimately raze much of the American landscape
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