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Civil War Anniversary

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War. The first shots were fired on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Harbor. Confederate forces let by Brig. General P.G.T. Beauregard demanded the surrender of the fort and opened fire when the Union commander, Maj. Robert Anderson, refused. He was forced to evacuate the next day, however, and this battle became the first engagement of the war. It raged on for four more years until Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulyssses S. Grant on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. Since then there have been thousands of books written about the war, its causes and its aftermath — including many published this year to commemorate the anniversary. Some of the Library's new titles include:

America aflame: how the Civil War created a nation by David Goldfield

Bloody crimes: the chase for Jefferson Davis and the death pageant for Lincoln's corpse by James L. Swanson

The Civil War: a concise history by Louis P. Masur

The Civil War: the first year told by those who lived it edited by Brooks D. Simpson, Stephen W. Sears, Aaron Sheehan-Dean

A glorious army: Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia from the Seven Days to Gettysburg by Jeffry D. Wert

The history buff's guide to the Civil War by Thomas R. Flagel

The siege of Washington: the untold story of the twelve days that shook the Union by John Lockwood and Charles Lockwood

This great struggle: America's Civil War by Steven E. Woodworth