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American Civil War

Border States - Brothers at War

History >> Civil War

What were the border states?

The border states during the Civil War were the slave states that didn't leave the Union. These states included Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri. West Virginia, which separated from Virginia during the war, was also considered a border state.


Border States by Ducksters
Other Border States

Other states that are sometimes considered border states include Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Kansas. All of these states had strong support for both the Confederacy and the Union.

Why were they important?

Keeping control of the border states played an important role in the victory for the Union. These states gave the Union the advantage in troops, factories, and money.

Did everyone support the Union?

Not everyone in the border states supported the Union. In some cases, like Missouri and West Virginia, the support for each side was fairly evenly split. Thousands of soldiers from the border states headed south and joined the Confederate Army. There were also politicians in these states who fought hard for secession. Even if they didn't want secession, many of the people of the border states thought the war against the Confederacy was wrong. They felt that the states should be able to leave the country if they wanted.

Slavery and Emancipation

The border states were the primary reason that President Lincoln waited so long to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Abolitionists in the North were demanding that he free the slaves. However, Lincoln knew he needed to win the war. He was stuck between wanting to free the slaves and needing the border states to win the war. He knew he had to win the war to truly free the slaves.

Did brothers really fight brothers?

Yes. There were many cases where brothers were fighting brothers on the same battlefield. Families all across the country were split over the issue. Even sons fought against their fathers.

Interesting Facts about the Border States During the Civil War Activities
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History >> Civil War








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