As many a Civil War reenactor or American history buff knows, we have been celebrating our Civil War Sesquicentennial. Exactly 150 years ago our United States were ripped apart by one of the most bitter and bloody struggles in the annals of world military history.
What one politician would predict would be just enough blood spilled to wipe up with a hankerchief, would in fact last over four terrible years ultimately taking the lives of over 620,000 men and women, soldiers and innocent citizens, young and old.
The cost would continue for years after, costing additional lives and divisions between Americans that would continue even to this day. The Northern military machine with its seemingly unlimited amount of men and supplies would eventually crush the Southern rebellion in mid 1865, generally and legally ending slavery and the early southern American "antebellum" way of life that had been established by even our founding forefathers who had put pen to our own constitution. Many knew years before the first shot on Ft. Sumter on April 12, 1861 that the institution of slavery would in fact come to a point of contention that could no longer be overlooked. The problem of the economic system designed around slavery would be threatened, and the areas that were based upon that system would be responsive.
It has been said that The Civil War did not start because of slavery. States Rights were in fact the reason, and President Lincolns' "invasion" of the south would prompt the first blood. The fact was none believed in 1861 that a war between states would last very long. Lincolns first call for Union recruits actually was only for a 3 month enlistment.
The first major battle at Manassas,Virginia would leave most going home with a different opinion after watching the first engagement firsthand as many did, or hearing of how terrible and large the battle became. The "First Battle of Bull Run" would indeed send the northern army and politicians home after a sound beating with their heads in their hands.
The 150 years Anniversary did in fact start the celebrations last year, on April 12 of course celebrating the Battle of Ft. Sumter, what is considered by most to be the opening shots of the Civil War or an official start so to speak. I write this as there had in fact been earlier shots fired on smaller scales, just not as significant possibly.
Now we have the 150 year Anniversary of the "Battle of Antietam" to be celebrated September 17, 2012. Reenactors by the thousands ( yes, thousands) have been driving to Sharpsburg, Maryland to engage in the " bloodiest single day of our Civil War". I have visited several times and the beauty of the Maryland landscape is a welcoming deception to the unbelievable and grotesque carnage that would unfold that single day.
I invite you to investigate the 150 year anniversary and the rich history of our nation and our brave Americans, both north and south who engaged in our Civil War. The large and precise reenactments will continue for years to come, but none will be as emotional and full of the facts and history as those planned until the 150 year anniversary of the surrender on April 9, 2015.
Take a trip. Enrich your families knowledge and appreciation of our nations brilliant history and our greatest struggle to maintain the Union, our United States of America.
Read more of the Civil War and the bloodiest day in America at the "Battle of Antietam" at our site. http://thecivil-war.com/civil-war-battles/battle-of-antietam/