The Civil War in Nebraska
During the Civil War Nebraska was still a territory, not achieving statehood until two years after the War. Nebraska Territory was a slavery-free region. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 had established the 40th parallel north as the dividing line between the territories of Kansas and Nebraska. It had also repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and allowed settlers in those territories to determine if they would allow slavery within their boundaries. Nebraska residents, many of them migrants from the Northern United States, chose to exclude slavery from their territory.
Anti-secession feelings ran strong in the fledgling Nebraska Territory. Seward County was originally called Greene County, after a popular U.S. Army general from Missouri. But after General Greene joined the Confederacy, the county was renamed Seward for William H. Seward, Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of State.