The Civil War began in 1861. That was probably the turning point for the Union North. They had most of the established heavy industry, most of the steel and other resources needed for armament. It was also home to nearly all of the established arms producers. While the Confederate South had cotton (tents and clothing) and some food resources, it was inevitable that they could not outlast the North. Especially when the South was blockaded from getting supplies. The two sides did manage to keep each other fairly busy until 1865, leaving a huge, bloody legacy on the history of our nation. It took decades for the damage to be eased.