Determined to preserve a way of life rooted in slavery, 11 southern states declared
themselves the Independant Confederate States Of America early in 1861. President
Lincoln asked for 75,000 militiamen to put down this insurrection. Union strategy called
for cutting the Confederacy off from markets and resources abroad and destroying
it's defenses at home. Southern leaders planned to make the cost of these efforts
so great in blood and treasure that northern support for the war would collapse before
the Union's death grip closed on the Confederacy. So began four bitter years that saw
three million Americans take up arms against each other.