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Will the Civil War speak to America again?

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Credit: Kenneth Garrett, DanitaDelimont.com, Newscom

(Read caption) A man holds a flag in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during a recent Remembrance Day Parade. [Editor's note: An earlier version of this cutline had the incorrect month.]

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Nov. 6 marks 150 years since Americans elected a little-known lawyer from Illinois as president of the United States.

The anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s victory also serves as the informal kickoff to the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. Ahead lie five years of commemorations, from the firing on Fort Sumter that began the conflict (April 2011) to the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in the Confederate states (January 2013) to the military turning point (Gettysburg, July 2013) to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House and Lincoln’s assassination (April 2015).

Shiloh. Antietam. Fredericksburg. The battle of the ironclad ships, Monitor and Merrimac. Union naval officer David Farragut urging "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" And much more. It all lies ahead – as Americans revisit the greatest national crisis since the founding of the United States, what some call “the second American revolution.”

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