Who was president during the Civil War? If you were from a Northern state, you answered Abraham Lincoln. If you were from a Southern state, you may have answered Jefferson Davis.
On November 6, 1861, Jefferson Davis was elected president, not of the United States of America but of the Confederate States of America. He ran unopposed and was elected to serve for a six-year term. Davis had already been serving as the temporary president for almost a year.
As a U.S. senator from Mississippi, Davis had tried to keep the Union together. When Mississippi seceded from the Union, however, Davis became a Confederate man.
With war threatening, Lincoln sent armed ships to resupply Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. Davis responded by ordering the bombing of the fort on April 12, 1861. The attack marked the beginning of the Civil War.
Conflict over issues of how much control the federal government should have over the states, industrialization, trade, and especially slavery had increased tension between Northern and Southern states. After Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860, 11 Southern states seceded (or withdrew) from the Union and set up an independent government--the Confederate States of America. These events led to the outbreak of the Civil War--a brutal, bloody, four-year conflict that left the South defeated and ended slavery at the cost of more than half a million lives.