In the winter of 1861 Abraham Lincoln left his home in Springfield, Illinois to become President of the United States. Southern states reacted to the election of a Republican president by seceding from the Union, and the nation descended into Civil War. Although the combatants fought no battles on Illinois soil, the Civil War defined an era in the state. Illinoisans shaped the war's course and felt its effects. This digital collection presents primary source material from the Civil War era in Illinois. These materials include letters, diaries and reminiscences of Union soldiers, as well as important documents, images, and other resources from the home front. For more information, including historical themes, narrative essays, and lesson plans. see the main page for Illinois During the Civil War.
- The Waterways Journal. 27 May 1950., Tulane University, Joseph M. Jones Steamboat Collection, HER hull was built at Louisville and she was finished at St. Louis in 1848 ... 709 tons and 279 feet long. She was dismantled in 1862 and reconstructed as a U. S. Gunboat. Send the correct name of this boat to the Hartford's St. Louis address given below before midnight June 6, 1950 and you will receive free of charge a beautiful picture of the Robert E. Lee. The correct answer will appear in our June ad in the "Waterways Journal". "Black Hawk, a side-wheel river steamer, was built in 1848 as Uncle Sam at New Albany, Ind.; purchased by the Navy at Cairo, Ill., 24 November 1862 as New Uncle Sam; commissioned 6 December 1862, Lieutenant Commander K. R. Breese in command; and renamed Black Hawk 13 December 1862." "During most of her service Black Hawk served as flagship for Rear Admirals D. D. Porter and S. P. Lee, successive commanders of the Mississippi Squadron. She participated in the operations around Vicksburg, Miss. (December 1862); capture of Fort Hindman, Ark. (11 January 1863); attack on Haines Bluff, Miss. (29 April-2 May); siege of Vicksburg (19 May-4 July); and the Red River Expedition (12 March-29 May 1864). Thereafter she patrolled in the Mississippi River and its tributaries. On 22 April 1865 she accidentally burned and sank, three miles above Cairo. Her wreck was raised and sold at St. Louis in April 1867." -- Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.