The Conflict (1861-1865) between the Northern States (The Union) and the Southern States which seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States has been given many names.

The official Union designation was "The War of the Rebellion." Other names have been "The War of Secession" and "The War for Southern Independence." In the South, the conflict is called "The War Between the States." The Congress of the United States used the term, "War Between the States" in two measures enacted into law; one measure became Public Law 834 in 1950, and a Resolution, H.580 was adopted by the House in 1944. The term "War Between the States" has been used in various reports on bills during the 70th, 71st, 72nd, 74th, 80th and 81st Congresses.

The name "Civil War" has also been widely accepted, no doubt because it is short. Actually the term "Civil War" is misleading and inexact. The war was not a class struggle, but a sectional combat, having its roots in such complex political, economic, social and psychological elements that it is difficult for historians to agree on all its basic causes.

The fact that for four years the Confederacy maintained an entirely separate government (with its own currency, commerce, army and navy) established the Confederate States of America as a separate nation.

This nation, the Confederate States of America, levied and collected revenue, enlisted its armies and issued cotton bonds which were accepted in foreign commercial marts.

Its navy, though small, fought brilliantly, and introduced with the Virginia (Merrimac) a new type of warship, the ironclad.

The Confederate Flag, "The Stars and Bars" was recognized all over the world as belonging to a nation other than the United States of America.

The "War Between the States" does not imply a war between individual states. The noun, "States," is used in its collective sense. the official titles of the contending parties during the conflict were the "United States" and the "Confederate States."

Therefore, since the war was between two groups of states, the United States and the Confederate States - two separate nations - the most exact name for that great conflict of the 1860's is "War Between the States."

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Published May 1, 1954
by the Florida Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy®
Written by Mrs. Murray Forbes Wittichen
Florida Division President 1952-1954
President General 1957-1960

Reprinted by United Daughters of the Confederacy® - 1960
Reprint prohibited without permission of UDC