The southern states withdrew their allegiance from the United States and formed their own Confederacy in February 1861.
The Civil War started when Confederate soldiers captured a U.S. fort in Charleston, South Carolina, in April 1861.
On both sides, the Union in the North and the Confederacy in the South, women were vital to the war effort. They collected supplies for soldiers and served as nurses, spies, and even (in disguise) as soldiers on the battlefield.
They also kept businesses and farms running while men were away fighting.