Illinois's War: The Civil War in Documents

Illinois's War: The Civil War in Documents


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Illinois's War: The Civil War in Documents by Mark Hubbard

On the eve of the Civil War and after, Illinois was one of the most significant states in the Union. Its history is, in many respects, the history of the Union writ large: its political leaders figured centrally in the war’s origins, progress, and legacies; and its diverse residents made sacrifices and contributions—both on the battlefield and on the home front—that proved essential to Union victory.

The documents in Illinois’s War reveal how the state and its people came to assume such a prominent role in this nation’s greatest conflict. In these crucial decades Illinois experienced its astonishing rise from rural frontier to economic and political powerhouse. But also in these years Illinois was, like the nation itself, a “house divided” over the expansion of slavery, the place of blacks in society, and the policies of the federal government both during and after the Civil War. Illinois’s War illuminates these conflicts in sharp relief, as well as the ways in which Illinoisans united in both saving the Union and transforming their state. Through the firsthand accounts of men and women who experienced these tumultuous decades, Illinois’s War presents the dramatic story of the Prairie State’s pivotal role in the sectional crisis, as well as the many ways in which the Civil War era altered the destiny of Illinois and its citizens.

Illinois’s War is the first book-length history of the state during the Civil War years since Victor Hicken’s Illinois in the Civil War, first published in 1966. Mark Hubbard has compiled a rich collection of letters, editorials, speeches, organizational records, diaries, and memoirs from farmers and workers, men and women, free blacks and runaway slaves, native-born and foreign-born, common soldiers and decorated generals, state and nationally recognized political leaders. The book presents fresh details of Illinois’s history during the Civil War era, and reflects the latest interpretations and evidence on the state’s social and political development.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780821420102
Publisher: Ohio University Press
Publication date: 01/15/2013
Series: Civil War in the Great Interior Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 260
Sales rank: 1,242,750
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Mark Hubbard is a professor of history at Eastern Illinois University. His reviews and essays have appeared in numerous scholarly journals, and his book Beyond Party: Cultures of Antipartisanship in Northern Politics before the Civil War was published in 2002.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Series Editors' Preface xiii

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction 1

1 Illinois and the Politics of Slavery 8

A Fugitive Slave Is Seized in Alton 14

Mary Richardson Jones Recalls John Brown and the Underground Railroad 15

The 1853 Black Exclusion Law 17

The Address of the Colored State Convention 18

Ichabod Codding Replies to Douglas 20

Practical Abolitionism and Its Tendencies 21

Chicago's Ferment: The 1855 Lager Beer Riot 23

The Illinois American Party Platform 26

"The political atmosphere is such...that I fear to do any thing" 28

The 1856 Anti-Nebraska State Convention 30

The Rise of Chicago 32

2 The Emergence of Lincoln and the Secession Crisis 34

Slavery Blights the White Man 38

A House Divided 39

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates 40

Illinois Reacts to John Brown 46

The Ottawa Rescue Case 47

The 1860 National Republican Convention 49

Richard Yates Defines Republican Principles 50

Illinois Responds to Secession 52

Egypt Calls for Separate Statehood 54

3 Improvising War 56

"War is now begun" 61

"There can be none but patriots and traitors" 62

The War Spirit in Chicago 64

Gustave Koerner Describes Mobilization and Preparedness 67

"We have before us...a serious struggle" 69

The Ambiguities of Unionism 71

Organizing the Chicago Sanitary Commission 73

Jane Hoge on Women's War Efforts 76

The Politics of Opposition: The 1862 Constitutional Convention 78

4 Illinois and Emancipation 80

Lincoln Opposes General Frémont's Emancipation Order 83

The Odyssey of Andrew Smith, Runaway Slave 85

"The conservative policy has utterly failed" 88

"Too much protection has been given to rebel property" 90

The Emancipation Memorial 91

The Cairo Contrabands 93

"There is a danger in the election here" 94

Illinois Reacts to the Emancipation Proclamation 96

H. Ford Douglas and the Meaning of Freedom 98

5 Divided Houses 101

The Peace Resolutions 104

Illinois Soldiers Write to Their Newspapers 107

Joseph Medill Warns of Resistance to the Draft 110

Governor Yates Prorogues the State Legislature 112

Arming the Resistance 113

Divided Neighborhoods 116

Mary Logan Defends a Contraband 118

Of Promises Made and Promises Kept-The Conkling Letter 120

6 The Soldiers' War 124

"Your son is a soldier in America" 127

Colonel Ulysses S. Grant Describes His First March into Battle 129

"Now we began to realize the horrors of war" 130

General Pope Orders Hard Measures 133

"The troops are becoming very much disheartened" 136

"I think there is reason to hope for better times" 140

George Carrington Witnesses the Fall of Vicksburg 142

"Equality we are fighting for" 145

The Twenty-Ninth U.S. Colored Infantry 146

James Austin Connolly's March to the Sea 148

7 Hearts and Minds in the Days of Total War 153

Dear Husband 156

Another Civil War 160

City Improvements 164

The Northwest Sanitary Fair 165

The Charleston Copperhead Riot 167

"Every thing seems to be going against us" 170

Reelecting Lincoln 171

The Chicago Trades Assembly Announces Its Political Goals 173

8 In the Shadows of War 175

Repealing the Black Laws 181

John Wentworth Waves the Bloody Shirt 184

"There is almost no such thing as loyalty here" 185

Senator Trumbull Defends Congressional Reconstruction 187

Resolutions of the Galesburg State Convention 190

Seven Years among the Freedmen 192

Congressman McNeely Opposes the Freedmen's Bureau 194

The Illinois Woman Suffrage Association 196

The Great Fire and the Boundaries of Charity 198

Farmers and Railroads 200

Cities of the Dead 201

Timeline 205

Discussion Questions 219

Notes 223

Selected Bibliography 227

Index 235

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