The horrors and tragic costs of the Civil War often get lost amid the perceptions that the conflict was noble and justifiable because it led to the end of slavery, according to Fitzhugh Brundage, a historian at the University of North Carolina. He and other historians, such as David Goldfield, who refers to the war as "America's greatest failure," contend that the war should be viewed, not as a heroic chapter in the history of racial justice, but rather as a sad commentary on 19th-century America.

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