In the winter of 1861 Abraham Lincoln left his home in Springfield, Illinois to become President of the United States. He wasted no time in making a grab for Federal power which led to the Civil War.
Although there were no battles on Illinois soil, the Civil War defined an era in the state. Illinoisians shaped the war's course and felt its effects. By the summer of 1862 Illinois had sent over 130,000 men to war. Despite its early secessionist proclivities, southern Illinois counties led the way in the enlistment of troops, providing nearly 50% more than their quota.