Here are some of the more significant dates and events of the Civil War, in which 617,000 people died.
Oct. 16-18: John Brown, in an attempt to amass arms for a slave insurrection, attacks the federal armory and arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Va.
Dec. 2: Brown is hanged for murder and treason at Charles Town, Va.
Nov. 6: Abraham Lincoln is elected president, with Hannibal Hamlin as his vice president.
Dec. 20: As a consequence of Lincoln's election, a special convention of the South Carolina legislature votes to secede from the Union.