For the four years between 1861 and 1865 American fought the civil war. Meaning our own war. The North against the South. The free States against the slave states.
The war had to solved two questions left unresolved by the revolution. The first being, Could the United States be a dissolvable confederation of sovereign states?
Or, could the United States be an indivisible nation with a sovereign national government? The Second question would be, whether this nation which had adopted a declaration saying that all men were created equal with an equal right to liberty, would continue to exist as a slave holding country.
The Civil War started because of the differences between the free states of the North and the slave states of the South and who would have the power of the National government. The Northern states wanted the power of the National government to abolish Slavery and the south, to enforce it. When Lincoln became president in 1860 he tried to keep slavery out of the territories but seven southern states seceded in forming the Confederate States of America. Lincoln and most Northerners did not accept the Confederate States. They felt that accepting this would make a huge crack in the United States
What started the Civil war was the Confederate, with four more slave states that had succeeded and joined the Confederate States, opened fire on the Federal army. The American Civil was the largest and most destructive conflict with more than a million men confronting each other along a line that stretched from Virginia to Missouri. A line more than twelve hundred miles long. But the real fighting started in 1862 ranging from Tennessee to Georgia. In 1864 the goal was of total war and destroying the old south along with its institution of slavery. Unionist wanted freedom. Unionist wanted to preserve the nation created by founders from destruction. Confederates were fighting for what they believed to be liberty and independence.