Although the battlefields were miles from its borders, the bitter struggles of the American Civil War (1861-1865) had a profound effect on New Jersey. New Jersey supplied over 88,000 men to the Union armies, and was represented in every major battle. 6,082 enlisted men and 218 officers lost their lives in the course of the war. In addition, many civilians--both men and women--traveled to the battlefields to volunteer in whatever way was needed. At home, the war caused political divisions, economic dislocations, and much hardship for those left behind. The metaphor of struggle, both ideological as well as amongst soldiers, describes the effort of the citizens of each state, including New Jersey, to understand the constitutional ideals of statehood and nationhood in terms of their own lives. As well as telling the stories of the soldiers who left the Garden State to fight for the Union, this exhibition explores the political and social context of the conflict in New Jersey.
The Rutgers University Libraries wish to thank the New Jersey Council for the Humanities for supporting this digital exhibition.