Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave state
Slave state
In the United States of America prior to the American Civil War, a slave state was a U.S. state in which slavery was legal, whereas a free state was one in which slavery was either prohibited from its entry into the Union or eliminated over time...

s that had declared a secession
Secession in the United States
Secession in the United States can refer to secession of a state from the United States, secession of part of a state from that state to form a new state, or secession of an area from a city or county....

 to join together to form the Confederacy
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

. Although the Union states included the Western
Western United States
.The Western United States, commonly referred to as the American West or simply "the West," traditionally refers to the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. Because the U.S. expanded westward after its founding, the meaning of the West has evolved over time...

 states of California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, and (after 1864) Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

, as well as states of the Midwest
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

, the Union has often been referred to as "the North
Northern United States
Northern United States, also sometimes the North, may refer to:* A particular grouping of states or regions of the United States of America. The United States Census Bureau divides some of the northernmost United States into the Midwest Region and the Northeast Region...

", both then and now.


Legally, the term originated in the Perpetual Union
Perpetual Union
The Perpetual Union is a feature of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, which established the United States of America as a national entity...

 of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. Also, then and now, in the public dialogue of the United States, new states have been "admitted to the Union", and the President's
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 annual address to Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 and to the people has been referred to as the "State of the Union address
State of the Union Address
The State of the Union is an annual address presented by the President of the United States to the United States Congress. The address not only reports on the condition of the nation but also allows the president to outline his legislative agenda and his national priorities.The practice arises...

". Even before the war started, the phrase "preserve the Union" was commonplace and a "union of states" had been used to refer to the entire United States. Using the term "Union" to apply to the non-secessionist side carried a connotation of legitimacy as the continuation of the pre-existing political entity.

Size and strength

In comparison to the Confederacy, the Union was heavily industrialized and far more urbanized than the rural South. The Union states had nearly five times the white population of the Confederate states (23 million to 5 million). The Union's great advantages in population and industry would prove to be vital long-term factors in its victory over the Confederacy.


Lincoln, an ungainly giant, did not look the part of a president, but historians have overwhelmingly praised the "political genius" of his performance in the role. His first priority was military victory, and that required that he master entirely new skills as a master strategist and diplomat. He supervised not only the supplies and finances, but as well the manpower, the selection of generals, and the course of overall strategy. Working closely with state and local politicians he rallied public opinion and (at Gettysburg) articulated a national mission that has defined America ever since. Lincoln's charm and willingness to cooperate with political and personal enemies made Washington work much more smoothly than Richmond. His wit smoothed many rough edges. Lincoln's cabinet proved much stronger and more efficient than Davis's, as Lincoln channeled personal rivalries into a competition for excellence rather than mutual destruction. With William Seward
William Seward
William Seward may refer to:*William Seward, English anecdotist, 1747-1799*William H. Seward, United States Secretary of State, 1861-1869*William H. Seward, Jr., his son, banker, Civil War general...

 at State, Salmon P. Chase
Salmon P. Chase
Salmon Portland Chase was an American politician and jurist who served as U.S. Senator from Ohio and the 23rd Governor of Ohio; as U.S. Treasury Secretary under President Abraham Lincoln; and as the sixth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.Chase was one of the most prominent members...

 at the Treasury, and (from 1862) Edwin Stanton at the War Department, Lincoln had a powerful cabinet of determined men; except for monitoring major appointments, Lincoln gave them full reign to destroy the Confederacy.


The Republican Congress passed many major laws that reshaped the nation's economy, financial system, tax system, land system, and higher education system, including the Morrill tariff
Morrill Tariff
The Morrill Tariff of 1861 was a protective tariff in the United States, adopted on March 2, 1861 during the administration of President James Buchanan....

, the Homestead Act
Homestead Act
A homestead act is one of three United States federal laws that gave an applicant freehold title to an area called a "homestead" – typically 160 acres of undeveloped federal land west of the Mississippi River....

, the Pacific Railroad Act, and the National Banking Act
National Banking Act
The National Banking Acts of 1863 and 1864 were two United States federal laws that established a system of national charters for banks, and created the United States National Banking System. They encouraged development of a national currency backed by bank holdings of U.S...

. Lincoln paid relatively little attention to this legislation as he focused on war issues, but he worked smoothly with powerful Congressional leaders such as Thaddeus Stevens
Thaddeus Stevens
Thaddeus Stevens , of Pennsylvania, was a Republican leader and one of the most powerful members of the United States House of Representatives...

 (on taxation and spending), Charles Sumner
Charles Sumner
Charles Sumner was an American politician and senator from Massachusetts. An academic lawyer and a powerful orator, Sumner was the leader of the antislavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate during the American Civil War and Reconstruction,...

 (on foreign affairs), Lyman Trumbull
Lyman Trumbull
Lyman Trumbull was a United States Senator from Illinois during the American Civil War, and co-author of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.-Education and early career:...

 (on legal issues), Justin Smith Morrill
Justin Smith Morrill
Justin Smith Morrill was a Representative and a Senator from Vermont, most widely remembered today for the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act that established federal funding for establishing many of the United States' public colleges and universities...

 (on land grants and tariffs) and William Pitt Fessenden (on finances).

Military and Reconstruction issues were another matter, and Lincoln as the leader of the moderate and conservative factions of the Republican Party often crossed swords with the Radical Republicans, led by Stevens and Sumner. Tap shows that Congress challenged Lincoln's role as commander-in-chief through the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. It was a joint committee of both houses that was dominated by Radicals who took a hard line against the Confederacy. During the 37th and 38th Congresses, it investigated every aspect of Union military operations, with special attention to finding the men guilt of military defeats. They assumed an inevitable Union victory, and failure seemed to them to indicate evil motivations or personal failures. They were skeptical of military science and especially the graduates of the US Military Academy at West Point, many of alumni of which were leaders of the enemy army. They much preferred political generals with a known political record. Some committee suggested that West Pointers who engaged in strategic maneuver were cowardly or even disloyal. It ended up endorsing incompetent but politically correct generals.


The main opposition came from Copperheads, who were Southern sympathizers in the Midwest. Irish Catholics after 1862 opposed the war, and rioted in the New York Draft Riots
New York Draft Riots
The New York City draft riots were violent disturbances in New York City that were the culmination of discontent with new laws passed by Congress to draft men to fight in the ongoing American Civil War. The riots were the largest civil insurrection in American history apart from the Civil War itself...

 of 1863. The Democratic Party was deeply split. In 1861 most Democrats supported the war, but with the growth of the Copperhead movement, the party increasingly split down the middle. It scored major gains in the 1862 elections, including the election of moderate Horatio Seymour
Horatio Seymour
Horatio Seymour was an American politician. He was the 18th Governor of New York from 1853 to 1854 and from 1863 to 1864. He was the Democratic Party nominee for president of the United States in the presidential election of 1868, but lost the election to Republican and former Union General of...

 as governor of New York. They gained 28 seats in the House, but remained a minority. Indiana was especially hard-fought, but when the Democrats gained control of the legislature in the 1862 election they were unable to impede the war effort, which was controlled by governor Oliver P. Morton with federal help.

The Democrats nominated George McClellan
George B. McClellan
George Brinton McClellan was a major general during the American Civil War. He organized the famous Army of the Potomac and served briefly as the general-in-chief of the Union Army. Early in the war, McClellan played an important role in raising a well-trained and organized army for the Union...

 a War Democrat in 1864 but gave him an anti-war platform. In terms of Congress the opposition was nearly powerless--and indeed in most states. In Indiana and Illinois pro-war governors circumvented anti-war legislatures elected in 1862. For 30 years after the war the Democrats carried the burden of having opposed the martyred Lincoln, the salvation of the Union and the destruction of slavery.


The Copperheads were a large faction of northern Democrats who opposed the war, demanding an immediate peace settlement. The said they wanted to restore "the Union as it was" (that is, with the South and with slavery), but they realized that the Confederacy would never voluntarily rejoin the U.S. The most prominent Copperhead was Ohio's Clement L. Vallandigham
Clement Vallandigham
Clement Laird Vallandigham was an Ohio resident of the Copperhead faction of anti-war Democrats during the American Civil War. He served two terms in the United States House of Representatives.-Biography:...

, a Congressman and leader of the Democratic Party in Ohio. He was defeated in an intense election for governor in 1863. In Republican prosecutors in the Midwest accused some Copperhead activists of treason in a series of trials in 1864.

Copperheadism was a grassroots movement, strongest in the area just north of the Ohio River, as well as some urban ethnic wards. Some historians have argued that it represented a traditionalistic element alarmed at the rapid modernization of society sponsored by the Republican Party. It looked back to Jacksonian Democracy
Jacksonian democracy
Jacksonian democracy is the political movement toward greater democracy for the common man typified by American politician Andrew Jackson and his supporters. Jackson's policies followed the era of Jeffersonian democracy which dominated the previous political era. The Democratic-Republican Party of...

 for inspiration. Weber (2006) argues that the Copperheads damaged the Union war effort by fighting the draft, encouraging desertion, and forming conspiracies. However other historians say the Copperheads were a legitimate opposition force unfairly treated by the government, adding that the draft was in disrepute and that the Republicans greatly exaggerated the conspiracies for partisan reasons. Copperheadism was a major issue in the 1864 presidential election; its strength waxed when Union armies were doing poorly, and waned when they won great victories. After the fall of Atlanta in September 1864 military success seemed assured, and Copperheadism collapsed.

Recruiting volunteers

There no shortage of enthusiasm as young men clamored to join the army in 1861. That is where the excitement was, and they were all volunteers. The decision was made to keep the small regular army intact; its officers could however join the temporary new volunteer army that was formed, expecting their experience would lead to rapid promotions. The problem with volunteering was a serious lack of planning, leadership and organization at the highest levels. Washington called on the states for troops and every northern governor set about raising and equipping regiments, with the bills sent to the War Department. The men could elect the junior officers, while the governor appointed the senior officers, and Lincoln appointed the generals. Typically politicians used their local organizations to raise troops, and were in line (if healthy enough) to become colonel. The problem was that the War Department, under the disorganized leadership of Simon Cameron
Simon Cameron
Simon Cameron was an American politician who served as United States Secretary of War for Abraham Lincoln at the start of the American Civil War. After making his fortune in railways and banking, he turned to a life of politics. He became a U.S. senator in 1845 for the state of Pennsylvania,...

 also authorized local and private groups to raise regiments. The result was widespread confusion and delay. Pennsylvania for example had acute problems. When Washington called for ten more regiments, enough men volunteered to form thirty. However they were scattered among seventy different new units, none of which was a complete regiment. Not until Washington approved gubernatorial control of all new units was the problem resolved. Allan Nevins is particularly scathing in his analysis: "A President more exact, systematic and vigilant than Lincoln, a Secretary more alert and clearheaded than Cameron, would have prevented these difficulties."

By the end of 1861 700,000 soldiers were drilling in Union camps. The first wave in spring was called up for only 90 days, then went home or reenlisted. Later waves enlisted for three years. They spent their time drilling. The combat in the first year, though strategically important, involved relatively small forces and few casualties. Sickness was a much more serious cause of hospitalization or death. In the first few months men wore low quality uniforms made of "shoddy" but by fall sturdy wool uniforms--in blue--were standard. The nation's factories were converted to produce the rifles, cannon, wagons, tents, telegraph sets and the myriad other special items the army needed. While business had been slow or depressed in spring 1861 because of war fears and Southern boycotts, by fall business was hiring again, offering young men jobs that were an alternative way to help win the war. Nonpartisanship was the rule in the first year, but by summer 1862 many Democrats had stopped supporting the war effort and volunteering fell off sharply in their strongholds. The calls for more and more soldiers continued, so states and localities responded by offering cash bonuses. By 1863 a draft law was in effect, but few men actually were drafted and served, since it was designed to get them to volunteer or hire a substitute. Others hid away or left the country. With the Emancipation proclamation taking effect in January 1863, localities could meet their draft quota by sponsoring regiments of ex-slaves organized in the South.

Medical conditions

More soldiers died of disease than in battle, and even larger numbers were temporarily incapacitated by wounds, disease and accidents. The Union responded by building army hospitals in every state. The hygiene of the camps was poor, especially at the beginning of the war when men who had seldom been far from home were brought together for training with thousands of strangers. First came epidemics of the childhood diseases of chicken pox, mumps, whooping cough, and, especially, measles. Operations in the South meant a dangerous and new disease environment, bringing diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid fever, and malaria. There were no antibiotics, so the surgeons prescribed coffee, whiskey, and quinine. Harsh weather; bad water; inadequate shelter in winter quarters; poor policing of camps; and dirty camp hospitals took their toll. This was a common scenario in wars from time immemorial, and conditions faced by the Confederate army were even worse. What was different in the Union was the emergence of skilled, well-funded medical organizers who rook proactive action, especially in the much enlarged United States Army Medical Department, and the United States Sanitary Commission
United States Sanitary Commission
The United States Sanitary Commission was a private relief agency created by federal legislation on June 18, 1861, to support sick and wounded soldiers of the U.S. Army during the American Civil War. It operated across the North, raised its own funds, and enlisted thousands of volunteers...

, a new private agency. Numerous other new agencies also targeted the medical and morale needs of soldiers, including the United States Christian Commission
United States Christian Commission
The United States Christian Commission was an important agency of the Union during the American Civil War. It was designed to offer religious support, but also provided numerous social services and recreation to the soldiers of the U.S. Army. It provided Protestant chaplains and social workers,...

 as well as smaller private agencies such as the Women's Central Association of Relief for Sick and Wounded in the Army (WCAR) founded in 1861 by Henry Whitney Bellows
Henry Whitney Bellows
Henry Whitney Bellows was American clergyman, and the planner and president of the United States Sanitary Commission, the leading soldiers' aid society, during the American Civil War...

, a Unitarian minister, and social reformer Dorothea Dix
Dorothea Dix
Dorothea Lynde Dix was an American activist on behalf of the indigent insane who, through a vigorous program of lobbying state legislatures and the United States Congress, created the first generation of American mental asylums...

. Systematic funding appeals raised public consciousness, as well as millions of dollars. Many thousands of volunteers worked in the hospitals and rest homes, most famously poet Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse...

. Frederick Law Olmstead, a famous landscape architect, was the highly efficient executive director of the Sanitary Commission.

States could use their own tax money to support their troops as Ohio did. Under the energetic leadership of Governor David Tod
David Tod
David Tod was a politician and industrialist from the U.S. state of Ohio. As the 25th Governor of Ohio, Tod gained recognition for his forceful and energetic leadership during the American Civil War....

, a War Democrat who won office on a coalition "Union Party" ticket with Republicans, Ohio acted vigorously. Following the unexpected carnage at the battle of Shiloh in April 1862, it send 3 steamboats to the scene as floating hospitals with doctors, nurses and medical supplies. The state fleet expanded to eleven hospital ships. The state also set up 12 local offices in main transportation nodes to help Ohio soldiers moving back and forth.

The Christian Commission comprised 6000 volunteers who aided chaplains in many ways. For example, its agents distributed Bibles, delivered sermons, helped with letters home, taught men to read and write, and set up camp libraries.

The Army learned many lessons and in 1886, it established the Hospital Corps.
In the long run the wartime experiences of the numerous commissions modernized public welfare, and set the stage for large--scale community philanthropy in America based on fund raising campaigns and private donations. Women gained new public roles. For example, Mary Livermore
Mary Livermore
Mary Livermore, born Mary Ashton Rice, was an American journalist and advocate of women's rights.-Biography:...

 (1820-1905). the manager of the Chicago branch of the US Sanitary Commission, used her newfound organizational skills to mobilize support for women's suffrage after the war. She argued that women needed more education and job opportunities to help them fulfill their role of serving others. The Sanitary Commission collected enormous amounts of statistical data, and opened up the problems of storing information for fast access and mechanically searching for data patterns. The pioneer was John Shaw Billings
John Shaw Billings
John Shaw Billings was an American librarian and surgeon best known as the modernizer of the Library of the Surgeon General's Office of the Army and as the first director of the New York Public Library.-Biography:...

 (1838-1913). A senior surgeon in the war, Billings built two of the world's most important libraries, Library of the Surgeon General's Office
Library of the Surgeon General's Office
The Library of the Surgeon General's Office, later called the Army Medical Library, was the institutional medical literature repository of the U.S...

 (now the National Library of Medicine and the New York Public Library
New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is the largest public library in North America and is one of the United States' most significant research libraries...

; he also figured out how to mechanically analyze data by turning it into numbers and punching onto the computer punch card as developed by his student Herman Hollerith
Herman Hollerith
Herman Hollerith was an American statistician who developed a mechanical tabulator based on punched cards to rapidly tabulate statistics from millions of pieces of data. He was the founder of one of the companies that later merged and became IBM.-Personal life:Hollerith was born in Buffalo, New...


Draft riots

Discontent with the 1863 draft law led to riots in several cities and in rural areas as well, By far the most important were the New York City draft riots of July 13 to July 16, 1863. Irish Catholic and other workers fought police, militia and regular army units until the Army used artillery to sweep the streets. Initially focused on the draft, the protests quickly expanded into violent attacks on blacks in New York City, with many killed on the streets.

Small-scale riots broke out in ethnic German and Irish districts, and in areas along the Ohio River with many Copperheads. Holmes County, Ohio
Holmes County, Ohio
As of the census of 2000, there were 38,943 people, 11,337 households, and 9,194 families residing in the county. The population density was 92 people per square mile . There were 12,280 housing units at an average density of 29 per square mile...

 was an isolated localistic areas dominated by Pennsylvania Dutch
Pennsylvania Dutch
Pennsylvania Dutch refers to immigrants and their descendants from southwestern Germany and Switzerland who settled in Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries...

 and some recent German immigrants. It was a Democratic stronghold and few men dared speak out in favor of conscription. Local politicians denounced Lincoln and Congress as despotic, seeing the draft law as a violation of their local autonomy. In June 1863, small scale disturbance broke out; they ended when the Army send in armed units.


The Union economy grew and prospered during the war while fielding a very large army and navy. The Republicans in Washington had a Whiggish vision of an industrial nation, with great cities, efficient factories, productive farms, national banks, and high speed rail links. The South had resisted policies such as tariffs to promote industry and homestead laws to promote farming because slavery would not benefit; with the South gone, and Northern Democrats very weak in Congress, the Republicans enacted their legislation. At the same time they passed new taxes to pay for part of the war, and issued large amounts of bonds to pay for the most of the rest. (The remainder can be charged to inflation.) They wrote an elaborate program of economic modernization that had the dual purpose of winning the war and permanently transforming the economy.

Financing the war

In 1860 the Treasury was a small operation that funded the small-scale operations of the government through the low tariff and land sales. Revenues were trivial in comparison with the cost of a full-scale war, but the Treasury Department under Secretary Salmon P. Chase
Salmon P. Chase
Salmon Portland Chase was an American politician and jurist who served as U.S. Senator from Ohio and the 23rd Governor of Ohio; as U.S. Treasury Secretary under President Abraham Lincoln; and as the sixth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.Chase was one of the most prominent members...

 showed unusual ingenuity in financing the war without crippling the economy. Many new taxes were imposed, and always with a patriotic theme comparing the financial sacrifice to the sacrifices of life and limb. The government paid for supplies in real money, which encouraged people to sell to the government regardless of their politics. By contrast the Confederacy gave paper promissory notes when it seized property, so that even loyal Confederates would hide their horses and mules rather than sell them for dubious paper. Overall the Northern financial system was highly successful in raising money and turning patriotism into profit, while the Confederate system impoverished its patriots.

The United States needed $3.1 billion to pay for the immense armies and fleets raised to fight the Civil War — over $400 million just in 1862.
The largest tax sum by far came from new excise taxes--a sort of value added tax
Value added tax
A value added tax or value-added tax is a form of consumption tax. From the perspective of the buyer, it is a tax on the purchase price. From that of the seller, it is a tax only on the "value added" to a product, material or service, from an accounting point of view, by this stage of its...

--that was imposed on every sort of manufactured item. Second came much higher tariffs, through several Morrill tariff
Morrill Tariff
The Morrill Tariff of 1861 was a protective tariff in the United States, adopted on March 2, 1861 during the administration of President James Buchanan....

 laws. Third came the nation's first income tax; only the wealthy paid and it was repealed at war's end.

Apart from taxes, the second major source was government bonds. For the first time bonds in small denominations were sold directly to the people, with publicity and patriotism as key factors, as designed by banker Jay Cooke
Jay Cooke
Jay Cooke was an American financier. Cooke and his firm Jay Cooke & Company were most notable for their role in financing the Union's war effort during the American Civil War...

. State banks lost their power to issue banknotes. Only national banks could do that, and Chase made it easy to become a national bank; it involved buying and holding federal bonds and financiers rushed to open these banks. Chase numbered them, so that the first one in each city was the "First National Bank." Fourth the government printed "greenbacks"--paper money--which were controversial because they caused inflation.

Secretary Chase, though a long-time free-trader, worked with Morrill to pass a second tariff bill in summer 1861, raising rates another 10 points in order to generate more revenues. These subsequent bills were primarily revenue driven to meet the war's needs, though they enjoyed the support of protectionists such as Carey, who again assisted Morrill in the bill's drafting. The Morrill Tariff
Morrill Tariff
The Morrill Tariff of 1861 was a protective tariff in the United States, adopted on March 2, 1861 during the administration of President James Buchanan....

 of 1861 was designed to raise revenue. The tariff act of 1862 served not only to raise revenue, but also to encourage the establishment of factories free from British competition by taxing British imports. Furthermore, it protected American factory workers from low paid European workers, and as a major bonus attracted tens of thousands of those Europeans to immigrate to America for high wage factory and craftsman jobs.

Customs revenue from tariffs totaled $345 million from 1861 through 1865, or 43% of all federal tax revenue.

Land grants

The U.S. government owned vast amounts of good land (mostly from the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and the Oregon Treaty with Britain in 1846). The challenge was to make the land useful to people and to provide the economic basis for the wealth that would pay off the war debt. Land grants went to railroad construction companies to open up the western plains and link up to California. Together with the free lands provided farmers by the Homestead Law the low-cost farm lands provided by the land grants speeded up the expansion of commercial agriculture. The North's most important war measure was perhaps the creation of a system of national banks that provided a sound currency for the industrial expansion. Even more important, the hundreds of new banks that were allowed to open were required to purchase government bonds. Thereby the nation monetized the potential wealth represented by farms, urban buildings, factories, and businesses, and immediately turned that money over to the Treasury for war needs.

The 1862 Homestead Act opened up the public domain lands for free. Land grants to the railroads meant they could sell tracts for family farms (80 to 200 acres) at low prices with extended credit. In addition the government sponsored fresh information, scientific methods and the latest techniques through the newly established Department of Agriculture and the Morrill Land Grant College Act.


Agriculture was the largest single industry and it prospered during the war. Prices were high, pulled up by a strong demand from the army and from Britain (which depended on American wheat for a fourth of its food imports.) The war acted as a catalyst which encouraged the rapid adoption of horse-drawn machinery and other implements. The rapid spread of recent inventions such as the reaper and mower made the work force efficient, even as hundreds of thousands of farmers were in the army. Many wives took their place, and often consulted by mail on what to do; increasingly they relied on community and extended kin for advice and help.

Cotton trade

The Treasury started buying cotton during the war, for shipment to Europe and northern mills. The sellers were Southern planters who needed the cash, regardless of their patriotism. The Northern buyers could make heavy profits, which annoyed soldiers like Ulysses Grant. He blamed Jewish traders and expelled them from his lines in 1862, but Lincoln quickly overruled this show of anti-semitism. Critics said the cotton trade helped the South, prolonged the war and fostered corruption. Washington decided to continue the trade for fear that Britain might intervene if its textile manufacturers were denied raw material. Another goal was to foster latent Unionism in Southern border states. Northern textile manufacturers needed cotton to remain in business and to make uniforms, while cotton exports to Europe provided an important source of gold to finance the war.


Many Northerners had only recently become religious (following the Second Great Awakening
Second Great Awakening
The Second Great Awakening was a Christian revival movement during the early 19th century in the United States. The movement began around 1800, had begun to gain momentum by 1820, and was in decline by 1870. The Second Great Awakening expressed Arminian theology, by which every person could be...

) and religion was a powerful force in their lives. No denomination was more active in supporting the Union than the Methodist Episcopal Church
Methodist Episcopal Church
The Methodist Episcopal Church, sometimes referred to as the M.E. Church, was a development of the first expression of Methodism in the United States. It officially began at the Baltimore Christmas Conference in 1784, with Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke as the first bishops. Through a series of...

. Carwardine argues that for many Methodists, the victory of Lincoln in 1860 heralded the arrival of the kingdom of God in America. They were moved into action by a vision of freedom for slaves, freedom from the persecutions of godly abolitionists, release from the Slave Power
Slave power
The Slave Power was a term used in the Northern United States to characterize the political power of the slaveholding class of the South....

's evil grip on the American government, and the promise of a new direction for the Union. Methodists formed a major element of the popular support for the Radical Republicans with their hard line toward the white South. Dissident Methodists left the church. During Reconstruction the Methodists took the lead in helping form Methodist churches for Freedmen, and moving into Southern cities even to the point of taking control, with Army help, of buildings that had belonged to the southern branch of the church.

The Methodist family magazine Ladies' Repository promoted Christian family activism. Its articles provided moral uplift to women and children. It portrayed the War as a great moral crusade against a decadent Southern civilization corrupted by slavery. It recommended activities that family members could perform in order to aid the Union cause.


Frank reports that what it meant to be a father varied with status and age, but most men demonstrated dual commitments as providers and nurturers and also believed that husband and wife had mutual obligations toward their children. The war privileged masculinity, dramatizing and exaggerating, father-son bonds. Especially at five critical five stages in the soldier's career (enlistment, blooding, mustering out, wounding, and death) letters from absent fathers articulated a distinctive set of 19th-century ideals of manliness.


There were numerous children's magazines such as Merry's Museum, The Student and Schoolmate, Our Young Folks, The Little Pilgrim, Forrester's Palymate, and The Little Corporal. They showed a Protestant religious tone and "promoted the principles of hard work, obedience, generosity, humility, and piety; trumpeted the benefits of family cohesion; and furnished mild adventure stories, innocent entertainment, and instruction." Their pages featured factual information and anecdotes about the war along with related quizzes, games, poems and songs, short oratorical pieces for "declamation," short stories, and very short plays that children could stage. They promoted patriotism and the Union war aims, fostered kindly attitudes toward freed slaves, blackened the Confederates cause, encouraged readers to raise money for war-related humanitarian funds, and dealt with the death of family members. By 1866 Milton Bradley Company was selling "The Myriopticon: A Historical Panorama of the Rebellion" that allowed children to stage a neighborhood show that would explain the war. It comprised colorful drawings that were turned on wheel and included pre-printed tickets, poster advertisements, and narration that could be read aloud at the show.

Caring for war orphans was an important function for local organizations as well as state and local government. A typical state was Iowa, where the private "Iowa Soldiers Orphans Home Association" operated with funding from the legislature and public donations. It set up orphanages in Davenport, Glenwood and Cedar Falls. The state government funded pensions for the widows and children of soldiers.

All the northern states had free public school systems before the war, but not the border states. West Virginia set up its system in 1863. Over bitter opposition it established an almost-equal education for black children, most of whom were ex-slaves. Thousands of black refugees poured into St. Louis, where the Freedmen's Relief Society, the Ladies Union Aid Society, the Western Sanitary Commission, and the American Missionary Association
American Missionary Association
The American Missionary Association was a Protestant-based abolitionist group founded on September 3, 1846 in Albany, New York. The main purpose of this organization was to abolish slavery, to educate African Americans, to promote racial equality, and to promote Christian values...

 (AMA) set up schools for their children.

Unionists in South and Border states

People loyal to the federal government and opposed to secession living in the border states
Border states (Civil War)
In the context of the American Civil War, the border states were slave states that did not declare their secession from the United States before April 1861...

 (where slavery was legal in 1861) and Confederate states were termed Unionists. Confederates sometimes styled them "Homemade Yankees". However, Southern Unionists were not necessarily northern sympathizers and many of them although opposing secession supported the Confederacy once it was a fact. East Tennessee never supported the Confederacy, and Unionists there became powerful state leaders, including governors Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States . As Vice-President of the United States in 1865, he succeeded Abraham Lincoln following the latter's assassination. Johnson then presided over the initial and contentious Reconstruction era of the United States following the American...

 and William G. Brownlow. Likewise large pockets of eastern Kentucky were Unionist and helped keep the state from seceding. Western Virginia, with few slaves and some industry, was so strongly Unionist that it broke away and formed the new state of West Virginia.

Still, nearly 120,000 Southern
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 Unionists served in the Union Army
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 during the Civil War, and Unionist regiments were raised in every Southern state. Southern Unionist
Southern Unionist
In the United States, Southern Unionists were people living in the Confederate States of America, opposed to secession, and against the Civil War. These people are also referred to as Southern Loyalists, Union Loyalists, and Lincoln Loyalists...

s were extensively used as anti-guerrilla paramilitary forces. During Reconstruction many Unionists in the ex-Confederacy became Scalawags who supported the Republican Party.

Guerrilla warfare

Besides organized military conflict, the border states were beset by guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

. In such a bitterly divided state, neighbors frequently used the excuse of war to settle personal grudges and took up arms against neighbors.


Missouri was the scene of over 1000 engagements between Union and Confederate forces, and uncounted numbers of guerrilla attacks and raids by informal pro-Confederate bands. Western Missouri was the scene of brutal guerrilla warfare during the Civil War. Roving insurgent bands such as Quantrill's Raiders
Quantrill's Raiders
Quantrill's Raiders were a loosely organized force of pro-Confederate Partisan rangers, "bushwhackers", who fought in the American Civil War under the leadership of William Clarke Quantrill...

 and the men of Bloody Bill Anderson terrorized the countryside, striking both military installations and civilian settlements. Because of the widespread attacks and the protection offered by Confederate sympathizers, Federal leaders issued General Order No. 11 in 1863, and evacuated areas of Jackson, Cass, and Bates counties. They forced the residents out to reduce support for the guerrillas. Union cavalry could sweep through and track down Confederate guerrillas, who no longer had places to hide and people and infrastructure to support them. On short notice, the army forced almost 20,000 people, mostly women, children, and the elderly, to leave their homes. Many never returned, and the affected counties were economically devastated for years after the end of the war. Families passed along stories of their bitter experiences down through several generations--Harry Truman's grandparents were caught up in the raids and he tells how they were kept in concentration camps.

Some marauding units became organized criminal gangs after the war. In 1882, the bank robber and ex-Confederate guerrilla Jesse James
Jesse James
Jesse Woodson James was an American outlaw, gang leader, bank robber, train robber, and murderer from the state of Missouri and the most famous member of the James-Younger Gang. He also faked his own death and was known as J.M James. Already a celebrity when he was alive, he became a legendary...

 was killed in Saint Joseph
Saint Joseph, Missouri
Saint Joseph is the second largest city in northwest Missouri, only second to Kansas City in size, serving as the county seat for Buchanan County. As of the 2010 census, Saint Joseph had a total population of 76,780, making it the eighth largest city in the state. The St...

. Vigilante groups appeared in remote areas where law enforcement was weak, to deal with the lawlessness left over from the guerrilla warfare phase. For example, the Bald Knobbers
Bald Knobbers
The Bald Knobbers was a group of non-racially motivated vigilantes in the southern part of the state of Missouri, who were active during the period 1883-1889...

 were the term for several law-and-order vigilante groups in the Ozarks. In some cases, they too turned to illegal gang activity.


In response to the growing problem of locally organized guerrilla campaigns throughout 1863 and 1864, in June 1864, Maj. Gen. Stephen G. Burbridge
Stephen G. Burbridge
-External links:* — Article by Civil War historian/author Bryan S. Bush...

 was given command over the state of Kentucky. This began an extended period of military control that would last through early 1865, beginning with martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 authorized by President Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

. To pacify Kentucky, Burbridge rigorously suppressed disloyalty and used economic pressure as coercion. His guerrilla policy, which included public execution of four guerrillas for the death of each unarmed Union citizen, caused the most controversy. After a falling out with Governor Thomas E. Bramlette
Thomas E. Bramlette
Thomas Elliott Bramlette was the 23rd Governor of Kentucky. He was elected in 1863 and guided the state through the latter part of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction. At the outbreak of the war, Bramlette put his promising political career on hold and enlisted in the Union Army,...

, Burbridge was dismissed in February 1865. Confederates remembered him as the "Butcher of Kentucky".

Union states

The Union states (all with their separate articles, and some cities):

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware*
  • Illinois
    Illinois in the American Civil War
    The state of Illinois during the American Civil War was a major source of troops for the Union army , and of military supplies, food, and clothing. Situated near major rivers and railroads, Illinois became a major jumping off place early in the war for Ulysses S...

  • Indiana
    Indiana in the American Civil War
    Indiana, a state in the Midwestern United States, played an important role during the American Civil War. Despite significant anti-war activity in the state and southern Indiana's ancestral ties to the Southern United States, it did not secede from the Union...

    • Indianapolis
      Indianapolis in the American Civil War
      During the American Civil War, Indianapolis, the state capital of Indiana, was a major base of support for the Union. The governor of Indiana, Oliver Hazard Perry Morton, was a major supporter of President Abraham Lincoln and he quickly made Indianapolis a rallying point for Union Army forces as...

  • Iowa
  • Kansas

  • Kentucky*
    • Lexington
      Lexington in the American Civil War
      thumb|[[John Hunt Morgan Memorial]] in downtown LexingtonLexington, Kentucky was a city of importance during the American Civil War, with notable residents participating on both sides of the conflict. These included John C. Breckinridge, Confederate generals John Hunt Morgan and Basil W...

    • Louisville
  • Maine
    Maine in the American Civil War
    During the American Civil War, the state of Maine was a source of military manpower, supplies, ships, arms, and political support for the Union Army...

  • Maryland*
    • Baltimore
      Baltimore riot of 1861
      The Baltimore riot of 1861 was an incident that took place on April 19, 1861, in Baltimore, Maryland between Confederate sympathizers and members of the Massachusetts militia en route to Washington for Federal service...

    • Washington, D.C

  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
    Michigan in the American Civil War
    Michigan made a substantial contribution to the Union during the American Civil War. While far removed from the fighting in the war, Michigan supplied a large number of troops and several generals, including George Armstrong Custer. When, at the beginning of the war, Michigan was asked to supply no...

  • Minnesota
  • Missouri*
    • St. Louis
  • Nevada
    Nevada in the American Civil War
    During the American Civil War, Nevadas entry into statehood in the United States was expedited by Union sympathizers in order to ensure Nevada's participation in the 1864 presidential election in support of President Abraham Lincoln....

  • New Hampshire

  • New Jersey
  • New York
    New York in the American Civil War
    The state of New York during the American Civil War was a major influence in national politics, the Union war effort, and the media coverage of the war...

    • New York City
  • Ohio
    • Cincinnati
    • Cleveland
  • Oregon
    Oregon in the American Civil War
    Oregon in the American Civil War refers to the military involvement of Oregon in the American Civil War.At the outbreak of the war, regular U.S. Army troops in the District of Oregon were withdrawn from posts in Oregon and Washington Territory and sent east...

  • Pennsylvania
    • Harrisburg
    • Philadelphia
    • Pittsburgh
      Pittsburgh in the American Civil War
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was a thriving and important city during the American Civil War, and provided a significant source of personnel, war materiel, armament, ammunition, and supplies to the Union Army...

  • Rhode Island
    Rhode Island in the American Civil War
    The state of Rhode Island during the American Civil War, as with all of New England, remained loyal to the Union. Rhode Island furnished 25,236 fighting men to the Union Army, of which 1,685 died. On the home front, Rhode Island, along with the other northern states, used its industrial capacity to...

  • Vermont
  • West Virginia*
  • Wisconsin
    Wisconsin in the American Civil War
    With the outbreak of the American Civil War, the northwestern state of Wisconsin raised 91,379 soldiers for the Union Army, organized into 53 infantry regiments, 4 cavalry regiments, a company of Berdan’s sharpshooters, 13 light artillery batteries and 1 unit of heavy artillery...

* Border states with slavery in 1861: In Kentucky and Missouri, pro-secession "governments" declared for the South but never had significant control of the states.

West Virginia separated from Virginia and became part of the Union during the war, on June 20, 1863. Nevada also joined the Union during the war, becoming a state on October 31, 1864.

Union Territories

The Union controlled territories in April, 1861 were:
  • Colorado Territory
    Colorado Territory
    The Territory of Colorado was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from February 28, 1861, until August 1, 1876, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Colorado....

  • Dakota Territory
    Dakota Territory
    The Territory of Dakota was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 2, 1861, until November 2, 1889, when the final extent of the reduced territory was split and admitted to the Union as the states of North and South Dakota.The Dakota Territory consisted of...

  • Indian Territory
    Indian Territory
    The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

     (disputed with the Confederacy)
  • Nebraska Territory
    Nebraska Territory
    The Territory of Nebraska was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 30, 1854, until March 1, 1867, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Nebraska. The Nebraska Territory was created by the Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854...

  • Nevada Territory
    Nevada Territory
    The Territory of Nevada was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 2, 1861, until October 31, 1864, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Nevada....

     (became a state in 1864)
  • New Mexico Territory
    New Mexico Territory
    thumb|right|240px|Proposed boundaries for State of New Mexico, 1850The Territory of New Mexico was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from September 9, 1850, until January 6, 1912, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of...

    • Arizona Territory
      Arizona Territory
      The Territory of Arizona was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from February 24, 1863 until February 14, 1912, when it was admitted to the Union as the 48th state....

       (split off in 1863)
  • Utah Territory
    Utah Territory
    The Territory of Utah was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from September 9, 1850, until January 4, 1896, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Utah....

  • Washington Territory
    Washington Territory
    The Territory of Washington was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from February 8, 1853, until November 11, 1889, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Washington....

    • Idaho Territory
      Idaho Territory
      The Territory of Idaho was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 4, 1863, until July 3, 1890, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Idaho.-1860s:...

       (split off in 1863)
      • Montana Territory
        Montana Territory
        The Territory of Montana was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 28, 1864, until November 8, 1889, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Montana.-History:...

         (split off in 1864)

The Indian Territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

 saw its own civil war, as the major tribes held slaves and endorsed the Confederacy.


  • Cashin, Joan E. ed. The War Was You and Me: Civilians in the American Civil War (2001),
  • Fellman, Michael et al. This Terrible War: The Civil War and its Aftermath (2nd ed. 2007), 544 page university textbook
  • Flaherty, Jane. "'The Exhausted Condition of the Treasury' on the Eve of the Civil War," Civil War History, Volume 55, Number 2, June 2009, pp. 244-277 in Project MUSE
  • Ford, Lacy K., ed. A Companion to the Civil War and Reconstruction. (2005). 518 pp. 23 essays by scholars excerpt and text search
  • Gallman, J. Matthew. The North Fights the Civil War: The Home Front (1994), survey
  • Gallman, J. Matthew. Northerners at War: Reflections on the Civil War Home Front (2010), essays on specialized issues
  • McPherson, James M. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (1988), 900 page survey; Pulitzer prize
  • Nevins, Allan
    Allan Nevins
    Allan Nevins was an American historian and journalist, renowned for his extensive work on the history of the Civil War and his biographies of such figures as President Grover Cleveland, Hamilton Fish, Henry Ford, and John D. Rockefeller.-Life:Born in Camp Point, Illinois, Nevins was educated at...

    . War for the Union
    Ordeal of the Union
    Ordeal of the Union, an eight-volume set on the American Civil War by Allan Nevins, is one of the author's greatest works, ending only with his death...

    , an 8-volume set (1947-1971). the most detailed political, economic and military narrative; by Pulitzer Prize winner; vol 1-4 cover 1848-61; vol 5. The Improvised War, 1861-1862; 6. War Becomes Revolution, 1862-1863; 7. The Organized War, 1863-1864; 8. The Organized War to Victory, 1864-1865
  • Resch, John P. et al., Americans at War: Society, Culture and the Homefront vol 2: 1816-1900 (2005)


  • Bogue, Allan G. The Congressman's Civil War (1989)
  • Donald, David Herbert. Lincoln (1999) the best biography; excerpt and text search
  • Gallagher, Gary W. The Union War (2011), emphasizes that the North fought primarily for nationalism and preservation of the Union
  • Gienapp. William E. Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America: A Biography (2002), good short online edition
  • Goodwin, Doris Kearns. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (2005) excerpts and text search
  • Green, Michael S. Freedom, Union, and Power: Lincoln and His Party during the Civil War. (2004). 400 pp.
  • Hesseltine, William B. Lincoln and the War Governors (1948)
  • Kleppner, Paul. The Third Electoral System, 1853-1892: Parties, Voters, and Political Culture (1979).
  • Paludan, Philip S. The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln (1994), thorough treatment of Lincoln's administration
  • Rawley, James A. The Politics of Union: Northern Politics during the Civil War (1974).
  • Richardson, Heather Cox. The Greatest Nation of the Earth: Republican Economic Policies during the Civil War (1997) online edition
  • Silbey, Joel. A Respectable Minority: The Democratic Party in the Civil War Era (1977).
  • Weber, Jennifer L. Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln's Opponents in the North (2006) excerpt and text search

Constitutional and legal

  • Hyman Harold. "A More Perfect Union ": The Impact of the Civil War and Reconstruction on the Constitution (1973)
  • Neely; Mark E., Jr. The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties (1991).
  • Neely, Jr., Mark E. Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation: Constitutional Conflict in the American Civil War (U of North Carolina Press; 2011); 408 covers the U.S. and the Confederate constitutions and their role in the conflict.
  • Paludan, Phillip S. "The American Civil War Considered as a Crisis in Law and Order," American Historical Review, Vol. 77, No. 4 (Oct., 1972), pp. 1013-1034 in JSTOR


  • Brandes, Stuart. Warhogs: A History of War Profits in America (1997), pp 67-88; a scholarly history of the munitions industry; concludes profits were not excessive
  • Clark, Jr., John E. Railroads in the Civil War: The Impact of Management on Victory and Defeat (2004)
  • Fite, Emerson David. Social and industrial conditions in the North during the Civil War (1910) online edition, old but still quite useful
  • Hammond, Bray. "The North's Empty Purse, 1861-1862," American Historical Review, Oct 1961, Vol. 67 Issue 1, pp 1-18 in JSTOR
  • Hill, Joseph A. "The Civil War Income Tax," Quarterly Journal of Economics Vol. 8, No. 4 (Jul., 1894), pp. 416-452 in JSTOR; appendix in JSTOR
  • Merk, Frederick. Economic history of Wisconsin during the Civil War decade (1916) online edition
  • Smith, Michael Thomas. The Enemy Within: Fears of Corruption in the Civil War North (2011) details on Treasury Department, government contracting, and the cotton trade
  • Weber, Thomas. The northern railroads in the Civil War, 1861-1865 (1999)
  • Wilson, Mark R. The Business of Civil War: Military Mobilization and the State, 1861-1865. (2006). 306 pp. excerpt and text search


  • Aaron, Daniel. The Unwritten War: American Writers and the Civil War (2nd ed. 1987)
  • Fredrickson, George M. The inner Civil War: Northern intellectuals and the crisis of the Union (1993)
  • Stevenson, Louise A. The Victorian Homefront: American Thought and Culture, 1860-1880 (1991).


  • Maxwell, William Quentin. Lincoln's Fifth Wheel: The Political History of the U.S. Sanitary Commission (1956) online edition


  • McPherson, James M. Marching Toward Freedom: The Negro's Civil War (1982); first edition was The Negro's Civil War: How American Negroes Felt and Acted During the War for the Union (1965),
  • Quarles, Benjamin. The Negro in the Civil War (1953), standard history excerpt and text search
  • Voegeli, V. Jacque. Free But Not Equal: The Midwest and the Negro during the Civil War (1967).

Religion and ethnicity

  • Kamphoefner, Walter D. "German-Americans and Civil War Politics: A Reconsideration of the Ethnocultural Thesis." Civil War History 37 (1991): 232-246.
  • Kleppner, Paul. The Third Electoral System, 1853-1892: Parties, Voters, and Political Culture (1979).
  • Miller, Randall M., Harry S. Stout, and Charles Reagan Wilson, eds. Religion and the American Civil War (1998) online edition
  • Miller, Robert J. Both Prayed to the Same God: Religion and Faith in the American Civil War. (2007). 260pp
  • Moorhead, James. American Apocalypse: Yankee Protestants and the Civil War, 1860-1869 (1978).
  • Noll, Mark A. The Civil War as a Theological Crisis. (2006). 199 pp.
  • Stout, Harry S. Upon the Altar of the Nation: A Moral History of the Civil War. (2006). 544 pp.

Social and demographic history

  • Vinovskis, Maris A., ed. Toward a Social History of the American Civil War: Exploratory Essays (1991), new social history; quantitative studies
  • Vinovskis, Maris A., ed. "Have Social Historians Lost the Civil War? Some Preliminary Demographic Speculations," Journal of American History Vol. 76, No. 1 (Jun., 1989), pp. 34-58 in JSTOR


  • Geary James W. We Need Men: The Union Draft in the Civil War (1991).
  • Geary James W. "Civil War Conscription in the North: A Historiographical Review." Civil War History 32 (September 1986): 208-228.
  • Hams, Emily J. "Sons and Soldiers: Deerfield, Massachusetts, and the Civil War," Civil War History 30 (June 1984): 157-71
  • Hess, Earl J. "The 12th Missouri Infantry: A Socio-Military Profile of a Union Regiment," Missouri Historical Review 76 (October 1981): 53-77.
  • Cimbala, Paul A., and Randall M. Miller, eds. Union Soldiers and the Northern Home Front: Wartime Experiences, Postwar Adjustments. (2002)
  • McPherson, James. For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War (1998), based on letters and diaries
  • Mitchell; Reid. The Vacant Chair. The Northern Soldier Leaves Home (1993).
  • Rorabaugh, William J. "Who Fought for the North in the Civil War? Concord, Massachusetts, Enlistments," Journal of American History 73 (December 1986): 695-701 in JSTOR
  • Roseboom, Eugene H. The Civil War Era, 1850-1873 (1944), Ohio
  • Scott, Sean A. "'Earth Has No Sorrow That Heaven Cannot Cure': Northern Civilian Perspectives on Death and Eternity during the Civil War," Journal of Social History (2008) 41:843-866
  • Wiley, Bell I. The Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier of the Union (1952)

State and local

  • Bak, Richard. A Distant Thunder: Michigan in the Civil War. (2004). 239 pp.
  • Baker, Jean H. The Politics of Continuity: Maryland Political Parties from 1858 to 1870 (1973)
  • Baum, Dale. The Civil War Party System: The Case of Massachusetts, 1848-1876 (1984)
  • Bradley, Erwin S. The Triumph of Militant Republicanism: A Study of Pennsylvania and Presidential Politics, 1860-1872 (1964)
  • Castel, Albert. A Frontier State at War: Kansas, 1861-1865 (1958)
  • Cole, Arthur Charles. The Era of the Civil War 1848-1870 (1919) on Illinois
  • Coulter, E. Merton. The Civil War and Readjustment in Kentucky (1926),
  • Current, Richard N. The History of Wisconsin: The Civil War Era, 1848-1873 (1976).
  • Dee, Christine, ed. Ohio's war: the Civil War in documents (2006), primary sources
  • Gallman, Matthew J. Mastering Wartime: A Social History of Philadelphia During the Civil War. (1990)
  • Hall, Susan G. Appalachian Ohio and the Civil War, 1862-1863 (2008)
  • Karamanski, Theodore J. Rally 'Round the Flag: Chicago and the Civil War (1993).
  • Lane, Jarlath R. A Political History of Connecticut during the Civil War (1941)
  • Leech, Margaret. Reveille in Washington, 1860-1865 (1941), Pulitzer Prize
  • McKay Ernest A. The Civil War and New York City (1990)
  • O'Connor, Thomas H. Civil War Boston (1999)
  • Parrish, William E. A History of Missouri, Volume III: 1860 to 1875 (1973) (ISBN 0-8262-0148-2)
  • Pierce, Bessie. A History of Chicago, Volume II: From Town to City 1848-1871 (1940)
  • Thornbrough, Emma Lou. Indiana in the Civil War Era, 1850-1880 (1965)
  • Ware, Edith E. Political Opinion in Massachusetts during the Civil War and Reconstruction, (1916).

Women and family

  • Anderson, J. L. "The Vacant Chair on the Farm: Soldier Husbands, Farm Wives, and the Iowa Home Front, 1861-1865," Annals of Iowa (2007) 66: 241-265
  • Attie, Jeanie. Patriotic Toil: Northern Women and the American Civil War (1998). 294 pp.
  • Bahde, Thomas. "'I never wood git tired of wrighting to you.'" Journal of Illinois History (2009). 12:129-55
  • Giesberg, Judith. Army at Home: Women and the Civil War on the Northern Home Front (2009) excerpt and text search
  • Giesberg, Judith Ann. "From Harvest Field to Battlefield: Rural Pennsylvania Women and the U.S. Civil War," Pennsylvania History (2005). 72: 159-191
  • Harper, Judith E. Women during the Civil War: An Encyclopedia. (2004). 472 pp.
  • Marten, James. Children for the Union: The War Spirit on the Northern Home Front. Ivan R. Dee, 2004. 209 pp.
  • Massey, Mary. Bonnet Brigades: American Women and the Civil War (1966), excellent overview North and South; reissued as Women in the Civil War (1994)
  • Rodgers, Thomas E. Hoosier Women and the Civil War Home Front," Indiana Magazine of History Vol. 97, No. 2 (June 2001), pp. 105-128 in JSTOR
  • Silber, Nina. Daughters of the Union: Northern Women Fight the Civil War. Harvard U. Press, 2005. 332 pp.
  • Venet, Wendy Hamand. A Strong-Minded Woman: The Life of Mary Livermore. U. of Massachusetts Press, 2005. 322 pp.

Primary sources

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.