Boys in Blue
Almost 3,000,000 soldiers served during the Civil War. Over 285,000 of them were Illinois soldiers who fought for the Union. In the 1860s, photography was becoming a popular way for average families to capture their images for posterity. Soldiers often had a "likeness" taken before they marched off to war — or they sent one home later, to a sweetheart or parent.
As part of its extensive photographic holdings, the Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Library owns around 7000 images of Illinois "Boys in
Blue." As part of a grant that the Library received, information
about these images (and several hundred more that belong to other
libraries and museums across the state) was entered into a database.
This database lists the soldier's name, regiment, town of residence,
and other information. At this point, the photos themselves are
not available on the web. If you would like to see an image, contact
the institution that is listed as the owner. For more information
about the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library's audio-visual collections,
>> Click here to search
the "Boys in Blue" database.
Funding for this grant was awarded by the Illinois
State Library (ISL), a Division of the Office of Secretary of State,
using funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services
(IMLS), under the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).