1. Abraham Lincoln was elected on a platform not to end slavery but to deny its spread into the territories.
2. Before Robert E. Lee decided to defend his native state of Virginia, he was offered command of the Northern armies.
3. The struggle between the North and the South took place on thousands of battlefields from Ohio to the New Mexico Territory.
4. Many of the generals on either side of any given battle knew one another. Many were former roommates or friends from their years at West Point.
5. The elimination of slavery became a Northern goal only midway through the war. Lincoln had said the war was for restoring the Union; he included eliminating slavery only when he thought doing so might help the sagging war effort.
6. The high water mark of the Confederacy was likely not at Gettysburg but in early September 1862 when its armies were on the march north and England and France were seriously considering recognizing it.
7. A soldier had more to fear from disease than bullets. Twice as many soldiers on both sides died of sickness than of wounds suffered in battle.
8. Prosperous before the war, the Southern states suffered a ruined economy by war's end. The war helped spur industrialism in the North.
9. At the end of the struggle, Robert E. Lee was the most respected man in the South. He urged all Southerners to accept the verdict of the battlefield and to work as good citizens of the reunited nation.
10. The assassination of Abraham Lincoln was a disaster for the country; had the president lived, Reconstruction likely would have been less traumatic for both the North and the South.