The band formed in 2012 after guitarists Oskar Montelius and Rikard Sundén, drummer Daniel Mullback and keyboardist Daniel Mÿhr left Sabaton after recording Carolus Rex (due in part to the group's grueling touring schedule). They joined up with vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson (Astral Doors) and bassist Stefan Eriksson, signing initially with Despotz Records. They are currently signed to Napalm Records.
The band continues Sabaton's tradition of predominantly historical themes, though they cover topics besides war and their lyrics tend to be more abstract than their parent group. Their name refers to The American Civil War, and they commonly perform in costumes based on Union and Confederate uniforms and named their first three albums after Michael and Jeff Shaara's historical novel trilogy about the war.
In 2014, a third guitarist, Petrus Granar, joined the band to play on Gods and Generals. However, after this second album, Montelius left the band in 2015, citing fatigue; Eriksson also left, leaving the band with no permanent bassist. In 2016, Johansson was dismissed from the band due to personal disputes with the other members, and was replaced the following February by Houston, Texas-based vocalist Kelly Sundown Carpenter (Adagio, Beyond Twilight, Darkology).
- Rikard Sundén guitar (2012present)
- Petrus Granar guitar (2014present)
- Daniel Mÿhr keyboards (2012present)
- Daniel Mullback drums (2012present)
- Kelly Sundown Carpenter vocals (2017-present)
- Nils Patrik Johansson vocals (20122016)
- Oskar Montelius lead/rhythm guitar, backing vocals (20122015)
- Stefan "Pizza" Eriksson bass (20122015)
- Civil War (EP, 2012)
- The Killer Angels (2013) - named for The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
- Gods and Generals (2015) - named for Gods and Generals by Jeff Shaara
- The Last Full Measure (2016) - named for The Last Full Measure by Jeff Shaara
Tropes in Civil War's music:
- Ascended Extra: Nils Patrik Johannson had previously filled in for Daniel Mullback for a couple shows on Sabaton's 2011 tour after Mullback injured his knee.
- The Cameo: Fellow former Sabaton musician Thobbe Englund plays on "Dead Man's Glory".
- Cowboy Episode: "Tombstone" is about the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and the video features the band playing in the middle of the crossfire.
- Elite Army: "First to Fight" is about special operations units.
- Folk Metal: "Dead Man's Glory" takes cues from Irish folk music.
- Horrible History Metal: Like Sabaton, they sing primarily about historical events, though their lyrics often tend to be more abstract.
- Horny Vikings: "Dead Man's Glory" is about Irishmen fighting off Vikings.
- Literary Allusion Title: Their first three studio albums (and a song on each album) take their names from the Shaaras' novel trilogy about The American Civil War.
- Vocal Dissonance: For fans who followed the musicians from Sabaton and Joakim Brodén's baritone growl, Nils Johansson's falsetto caterwauling is a bit of a switch.