National Constitution CenterCenturies of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline Exhibit
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1850-1865: We are a house divided, a nation torn by bloody civil war

April 9, 1865
The Civil War takes a heavy toll of American lives

Confederate soldiers killed during Civil War

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

“I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.”

—Abraham Lincoln

“It is well that war is so terrible—we should grow too fond of it.”
—Robert E. Lee

“You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty and you cannot refine it.”
—William Tecumseh Sherman

“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”
—Abraham Lincoln

Many die not from bullets, but from disease and hardship. Others will survive, but be scarred in body and soul. Civilians, especially in the South, will suffer greatly as well.

But the Union will endure.

Read about it in the New York times

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