Welcome to the Civil War Online Exhibition - 2011 is the 150th anniversary, the sesquicentennial, of the beginning of the Civil War, still the deadliest war in American history. On the following pages are materials from our special collections and other resources documenting the activity during the Civil War. Explore the table of contents and find information on the following:
Battles - The conflict between the North and the South spanned four years. During that time there were estimated to be 76 battles, 310 engagements with approximately 610,000 deaths, which equaled 14% for the armed forces, and approximately 1,000,000 injuries. Learn about some of the battles with images from Free Library’s special collections. These pages contain books, maps, photographs, prints, and video documenting some of the battles.
Confederate States - With the discussions of abolishing slavery, states’ rights and the tariffs on industry, the Southern states were beginning to feel dissatisfied with policies as early as 1820 but it was the election of President Abraham Lincoln which ultimately made seceding inevitable. These pages include books, maps, photographs, and prints from the special collections on the Confederate States.
Music – There is no question that music is an important part of life, self-evident in its uses during the Civil war. It has been said that the story of the Civil War could be told using the music of the time. These pages contain examples of the music from the Free Library’s Music department in both image and audio formats.
Pennsylvania - We could not assemble these materials for this exhibit without including our state. Pennsylvania, active in both battles and troop support, was vital to the Union cause. On these pages are books, maps, photographs, and prints documenting Pennsylvania’s involvement in the Civil War.
Politics – There were issues before the war and after its end. These pages contain some political cartoons illustrating public opinions about some of the platforms.
Recruiting – Posters appealing to patriotic feeling or promises of enlistment bonuses drew men by the thousands. The local and federal division did their part to encourage enlistment. On these pages are a few examples of recruiting imagery.
The Union – Trying to preserve an idea and prepare for the worst, the Union was in a constant state of fortification. These pages include books, documents, photographs, and prints of its war efforts.