With the secession of the Southern States in 1861, the Union was shattered, and 600,000 lives would be lost in four years of civil war. Yet the process of territorial evolution did not cease. Kansas was admitted as a free state (1861) shortly before the outbreak of war, while West Virginia was carved from Confederate Virginia and admitted to the Union in 1863, and expanded with additional counties as the North’s armies advanced. Nevada was admitted in 1864. The remaining frontier regions were parcelled up and organized as territories preparatory to statehood, barring the Indian reservations of Oklahoma. The consequent extension of settlement, massacre of bison, and forging of railroad links sparked a series of Indian Wars with the Sioux, Cheyenne, Apache and other tribes. Nebraska was admitted to the Union (1867), and Alaska purchased from Russia (1867), while the defeated South was undergoing the occupation of the Reconstruction (1865–77).
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