Since it was so horrendously "un-civil," why should we call the well-known conflict "the Civil War"? The overwhelming majority of historians, scholars, and common American citizens recognize the term "Civil War.
" It refers, of course, to that war in America which took place between 1860-65 and brought hundreds of thousands of deaths on both sides of the conflict.
It literally changed the face of America socially, culturally, and physically.
If there were ever a war that was anything but "civil" in the sense of decent, proper, courteous behavior, it was this one.
Fatalities on both sides totaled over 650,000 -- that's more than half a million Americans who died in direct combat or as a result of battles in or near their communities.
Off hand, I have no exact figures for the many tens of thousands of people who were left injured and crippled for life.
From the very early days of the war and long after it ended, it has gone by many names.
So for the sake of explanation, let me discuss some of those other names -- and explain why I prefer to call this monumental tragedy uniformly "the Civil War" in the articles on my websites.
Here are the most commonly used alternate names for the Civil War: War Between the States: At least one source says this term, though rarely used during the conflict, became frequent in the South following the war.
Many Confederate memoirs written after the war used this term, and in 1898 the United Confederate Veterans organization formally adopted this title for the conflict.
In modern times, the term has gained support generally, with the U.
Postal Service even issuing stamps in the early 1990s to commemorate "The Civil War/ The War Between the States.
" War of the Rebellion: Echoing the frequent Northern States references to Southern combatants as "rebels," this title for the war was officially adopted by the U.
military records.
In fact, the U.
War Department's formal collection of writings and documents (running to 70 volumes) about the conflict are titled, "The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, U.
Government Printing Office, 1880-1901.
" Alternately, many Northern State records shortly after the war refer to it as "the Great Rebellion" or "the War of the Rebellion.
" War of Secession: This term is used by some modern-day residents chiefly of the Southern States to refer to the conflict.
The War for Southern Independence: This became a very popular term in the South during the war, and fell into disuse after the war ended because of the South's failure to win independence.
It was somewhat revived in writings during the early 20th century.
It often was used in the South to link their war efforts directly to the Revolutionary War, i.
, just as that was the War for American Independence, this conflict was a direct successor to that effort and sought to re-establish Southern independence.
War for the Union: As a contrast to The War for Southern Independence, some Northern abolitionists in particular used this term for the struggle.
The War of Northern Aggression: Obviously a term used in the South, this label sought to emphasize the invasive, aggressive nature of the North's efforts to trample on Southern freedoms.
The War of the Insurrection: This became a derogatory label for the conflict used in the North to emphasize the South's role in seeking to rebel against and destroy the union of the states into one nation.
Given all the strong emotions that still radiate from hearts and minds in both the northern and southern regions of the U.
, the term Civil War seems to be the least objectionable, acceptable term for this tragic war.
If the term offends you or stirs negative feelings related to you personal passions about the conflict -- you have my apologies in advance.

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