The Civil War was a fight between the North and South that killed over 600,000 Americans. This fight was about keeping a way of life, the way of life being about the state’s rights and about slavery in the South keeping the status quo. The North was about expanding to the west and letting the people of new territories decide if they want to have slavery. In this paper we are going to discuss the Civil War on how a historian Shelby Foote interpreted the Civil War. Next we will discuss how the Civil War defined us as Americans. Lastly we will discuss why the North won the war without having brilliant military generals like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Shelby Foote was an author and historian of the American Civil War. Foote had many views on the Civil War. In one of his quoted passage, Foote believed that in order to get an understanding of America, we have to get a good understanding of the Civil War (Burns, K. & Burns, R., 1990). He believed that the Civil War is a very important factor in how we live today in America. He also believed that it is very important to learn about the reason why the Civil War started and what happened when the war ended. Foote quoted, “The Civil War define us as what we are, and it opened us to being what we became, good and bad things” (Burns, K. & Burns, R., 1990). Basically, Foote was saying that the Civil War showed us who we are now. It has also showed the good and the bad things as a nation. Foote also quoted, “It is very necessary if you’re going to understand the American character in the 20th century to learn about this catastrophe of the mid – 19th century. It was the crossroads of our being.” Foote’s meaning of this passage was that the Civil War was a tragic event. It involved the death of thousands of people from the north and the south. It was a very bloody war that changed America forever.