First announced to the public on Feb. 1, 1996; last updated on June 8, 2017.

The American Civil War is one of the most momentous and controversial periods in American history. This site was founded with the intent of collecting copies of or links to as many primary documents from the period of the secession crisis as is reasonably possible, with the goal of shedding light on the causes of secession, hence of the war.

Except where otherwise noted, I have used the entire document; some especially long documents are offered in both a "short" and "full" version, and a couple of documents that covered a wide range of topics (Buchanan's Fourth Message, for example) are given only in excerpted form.

The links below will take you to an index page for the appropriate set of documents. Some documents are now placed in more than one index set.

Document Categories: Other Links:

Many friends have assisted in the construction of this web site, mostly by providing me with text files for many of the documents. In particular I would like to mention Chuck Ten Brink, Justin Sanders, Joe Hartley, Steve Miller, Allen Sullivant and Linda Teasley. Several documents came from (or are links to) Lloyd Benson's site at Furman University. In addition, Allen Sullivant, Brian Hampton, and especially Kathie Rankin have helped with HTML tips and some of the graphics. Dave Smith provided some of the images. No, Dave provided a lot of the images.

As featured in History on the Web: Using and evaluating the Internet a recent book by Prof. Andrew McMichael of Western Kentucky University.

I maintain two other Civil War sites:

Send me your thoughts:

Page author: James F. Epperson

Last updated: June 8, 2017