I've always been interested in U.S. history. As a child in school, all that was taught to me in History classes was that it was a war fought between North and South, over slavery. Simple enough for a 12 year old boy to understand, but as I matured, I started following the war more closely. I bought all kinds of books: Coffee Table books, books on President Abraham Lincoln, you name it.
On film, all sorts of movies are available that depict the Civil War in one form or another: North and South, Gettysburg, Gods and Generals, Dances with Wolves, Glory, to name a few.
There is a great deal of information out there right now on the Internet, and I'm no scholar, but after years of reading up on Civil War events and trivia, I've concluded that this war wasn't a war between good or evil, generally speaking. It was a great era, and the United States indeed was in a crisis. Good men acted decisively, men fought for their beliefs, and human nature itself was tested. The outcome really did not matter to me in the end (the South "lost").
What is most fascinating about this war are the small stories and events that were not highly publicized in media. I've stumbled on a very informative blog dedicated to the 48th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. You might want to take a look at this.
More to come on the Civil War...stay tuned.