One minute history with morning coffee:
South Carolina was the first state to secede after Lincoln won the presidency. Unhappy with the outcome of the election and the belief that the Northern states way of life (industrialized economy verses the Southern agricultural based, and the North's ideals and lifestyles) would be pushed on them, the Southern states banded together to secede. After South Carolina, five more states followed: Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana. No longer wanting to be part of the United States of America, they met in Montgomery, Alabama (February, 1861) and established the Confederate States of America. They elected Jefferson Davis president. Texas quickly joined them, followed by Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee.
The Civil War began on April 12, 1861 when the Southern troops fired on the Fort Sumter military post in Charleston, South Carolina. The conflict continued until General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate flag to General Ulysses S. Grant, and the war was over. The North had won.
We were a nation divided, and the Civil War took more American lives than any other war in history. Roughly 2% of the population, an estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives in the line of duty. Taken as a percentage of today's population, the toll would have risen as high as 6 million souls.*
The Confederate Battle Flag: Evolution of a Symbol
*Civil War Trust