The American Civil War began in 1861 when a group of Southern states voted to secede. At that point, no one knew what a heavy toll the ensuing war would have on both sides of the conflict. Not only did more than 850,000 die, but millions more would suffer in other ways. Families of soldiers were left behind, just hoping to see their loved ones again. This indispensable book provides important facts about the war as well as critical information about its impact on family life. Abundant primary sources and a timeline enhance the volume's text, photographs, and beautiful design.