Letter from 2nd Lt. Thomas Lightfoot, 6th Alabama Volunteer Infantry, to his cousin.
Letter from William B. Darst, 21st Virginia Volunteer Infantry, to his mother.
Confederates open fire on the Federal garrison at Fort Sumter, touching off the most horrific conflict in American history.
Abraham Lincoln becomes the 16th U.S. president and prepares to face the sectional crisis head-on.
Southerners celebrate the inauguration of Jefferson Davis as the first president of the Confederate States of America.
The Lincolns hold their final reception in their Springfield home as they prepare for their move to Washington.