The American Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865. While there ware many elements that led to this war, slavery became the touch point. Eleven Southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America, also known as “the Confederacy.” Led by Jefferson Davis, the Confederacy fought for its independence from the United States. The U.S. federal government was supported by twenty mostly-Northern free states in which slavery already had been abolished, and by five slave states that became known as the border states. These twenty-five states are referred to as the Union.
Hostilities began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked a U.S. military installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. After four years of bloody, devastating warfare (mostly within the Southern states), the Confederacy surrendered when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
A Note on Holed Coins: Holes have been drilled in coins for thousands of years. Some cultures sewed them into their clothing for status and decorative purposes. One example is the silver coins from the Ottoman Hoard (sewn into the dresses of belly dancers) found in the Balkans, 900 miles from where they were minted in Constantinople about 1700 A.D. Others, like the Spanish reales found in the Lafitte Hoard just outside New Orleans, had holes pierced in them and were most likely sewn into the dresses of women in South and Central America as a sign of status in the culture. Still other coins simply had holes in them to help keep track of them; string them together to help prevent pick-pocketing, or sewing them into clothing for safe keeping.
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