The Union’s Forgotten First Defenders

Throughout the four years of the American Civil War, more than two million men served the Union, some for months, others for years. The vast majority were volunteers, young boys and aging men who willingly left home behind to fight for the preservation of the Union and the eradication of slavery.1 Historians have documented the stories of countless citizens-turned-soldiers, recalling the...
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Waging War Their Own Way: Women and the Civil War in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s recently conserved Civil War Muster Rolls, housed at the Pennsylvania State Archives, document the commonwealth’s contributions to the Union. Nearly 345,000 Pennsylvanians served in the U.S. Army during the war, or approximately 60 percent of the adult male population.1 A century and a half ago clerks carefully transcribed the names, ages, regiments, and brief...
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The Union League of Philadelphia and the Civil War

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Behind the Scenes of the Allegheny Arsenal Explosion

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All’s Fair: Philadelphia and the Civil War Sanitary Fair

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The “War History” of Corporal Funk

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Introduction: Remembering the Civil War in Pennsylvania

The American Civil War remains one of the most written about, read about, and wondered about conflicts in history. The enormity of the calamity that tore the nation apart less than a century after its founders imagined a new form of democratic republic is still difficult for us to fathom. Recent scholarship puts the death total at 700,000 or more — greater than all other American wars combined —...
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