The American Civil War in an Hour

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It was early on a Friday morning in the spring of 1861 that the American Civil War began.  At 4:30am that morning of April 12, Confederate forces in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, were ordered to open fire on Fort Sumter where Union forces were entrenched.  The next day, a Saturday, the Union commander, Major Robert Anderson, knew that he was outnumbered, out of food and out of options.  The first engagement of the American Civil War had been fought, and the Confederate States of America was the victor.  More than 40,000 shells had been dropped on the fort that sat on a spit of land in the harbor.  And yet, there were few wounded and no casualties.

The bombardment of Fort Sumter is considered the official beginning of the American Civil War.  However, the storm clouds of war had been gathering for years before those first shots were fired.  When the First Continental Congress presented their Declaration of Independence to the country, it included the promise of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  They neglected to mention that the promise was limited to white males.  But it did not go unnoticed.  It was a consciousness that would grow and spread until it began to meet with resistance.

This, in an hour, is the American Civil War.

ACW IAH AudioAlso available as an audio download and an app for the iPhone / iPad






  • From One Revolution to Another
  • Outline of the War
  • The Leaders
  • The Generals
  • The War at Sea
  • The Soldiers
  • The Women and Their Ways
  • The African-Americans
  • War, the Mother of Invention
  • The End Began Here
  • The Fatal Blow
  • War Crimes
  • This Ends the Job
  • Aftermath
  • In Memoriam

Readers’ reviews:

“An excellent and informative guide to the events leading up to and during the American civil war. Easy to read and understand.”

Just a fab easy read, well written, to the point, basic facts that were uncomplicated and easy to understand. Great for non- academic like me.”

“Easy to read and balanced account of the American Civil War. Does not take long to read. I can recommend it to anyone who would like quick overview of the events leading up to the war and its outcome.”

“This book is very good. it is easy to read and to understand and it doesnt take long to read. it took me an hour and a half to read so doesn’t take weeks to read. So overall a very good read.”

“Nice and short version. Little more than an hour to complete. Clear explanations and focus only on facts. Very good.”

“Having studied the American Civil war at university, I would recommend. Brilliant for the price and covers all the key points of America’s bloodiest conflict.”

“This book is a very good overview of the war and it gives you an insight into the reasons it came to be.”

“I read this book and it has inspired me to read further on this subject. A great little book to read!”

“I learnt quite a bit that I had no knowledge of, so it shows that at 84 one can still learn”

“Very interesting and informative.”

“It does just what the title suggests – a short and cheap introduction the history of the American Civil War.”

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