The American Civil War began on April 12, 1861 and ended on April 9, 1865. The Civil War started for many different reasons. One of the larger ones, however, was that abolitionists (people completely against slavery that felt it should be stopped immediately) were on the rise in the North. The majority of the North felt it should be stopped while the majority of the South wanted to preserve their way of life.
This (and some other reasons) created tension and led to the Confederacy's attack of Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. The majority of the Southern states seceded from the Union and formed their own government called the Confederacy.
Many lives were lost during the war. One in every fifty Americans died. Both sides were strong and put up an amazing fight. Soon what was left of the Confederacy (led by General Robert E. Lee) surrendered to the North at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.