Part 4: Rebellion rebound

The neutralization of the CSS Virginia in the famous clash of the ironclads has allowed the principal Federal army to begin an attack on the Rebel capital of Richmond in a campaign that northerners hope will break the back of the Rebellion. Instead, desperate and aggressive measures by the Confederates stop the advance and open the way for an invasion of the north.

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GRAPHIC: Gene Thorp - The Washington Post. Published March 4, 2012.

Part 1: The Road to War

Abraham Lincoln's election spurred the slave-holding states of the Deep South to secede.

Part 2: Fury Unleashed

Years of built up tension are released when the opening shots of the Civil War are fired.

Part 3: Northern Resurgence

The North continues its efforts to crush the rebellion and pushes the Confederacy to the brink of collapse.

Part 5: A new birth of freedom

The first Confederate invasion is stopped in the fall, while winter Union counterthrusts meet with disaster.

Battles & Casualties interactive map

Press the play button and watch the war unfold over time.

Civil War 150

The Washington Post continues its special coverage of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.