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.