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The civil war officially started upon the declaration of sovereignty and independance from the Union by the state of South Carolina and the subsequent shelling of Fort Sumter in 1861.

Other states followed to form the COnfederate States of America, headed by Jefferson Davis. There were 11 confederate states, in addition to regions within slave owning states and territories that wanted to join the confederacy but were prevented from doing so by Union forces, such as Missouri. There was also an early attempt to create the confederate territory of Arizona.

The spark for the rebellion was over the issue of slavery, which had almost launched a civil war many years prior when the territories of the mid Mississipi valley became states. The debate was whether to expand the Mason Dixie line to the newly incorporated states, or not. A series conflict arose between Kansas and Missouri and war was barely avoided but it was ineivtiable to become an issue eventually.

The election of president Lincoln provided fire for the fuel when he opted for restrictions on the spread of slavery in the western territories, and the eventual abolition of slavery

the flag of the confedearcy contained thirteen stars, including two for the states of Missouri and Kentucky which were not formally confederate states. West Virginia seceeded around that time, from the state of Virginia which became a confederate state in the spring of 1861

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Q: When and who started the civil war?
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