"In the winter of 1861 Abraham Lincoln left his home in Springfield, Illinois to become President of the United States. Southern states reacted to the election of a Republican president by seceding from the Union, and the nation descended into Civil War. Although the combatants fought no battles on Illinois soil, the Civil War defined an era in the state. Illinoisans shaped the war's course and felt its effects. This website presents primary source material from the Civil War era in Illinois. These materials include letters, diaries and reminiscences of Union soldiers, as well as important documents, images, and other resources from the home front."

Period Songs

Listen to Civil War era music.

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Scholars' Videos

Watch Civil War scholars discuss relevant topics.

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Essays

Read scholarly overviews of the Civil War Era.

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Teaching Materials

Lesson plans for teachers to use in the classroom.

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How to use this site

The Illinois in the Civil War site is comprised of both primary source documents, as well as modern scholarly interpretive materials, including thematic essays and video interviews. 

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