Honoring the Civil War’s Unsung Heroes: Boys in Blue

On April 9th, 1865, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee met at Appomattox Courthouse in Appomattox, Virginia, where General Lee surrendered to General Grant. Although the last battle of the Civil War was fought in May of 1865, April 9th marks the official end of the war itself.  

To mark this event in our nation’s history, the IDHH is featuring the Boys in Blue Collection from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. This collection serves as a repository for cabinet cards, tintypes, and cartes de visite of over 8000 Illinois soldiers who served in the Civil War, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum has verified information about what regiment the soldier served in, when they enlisted, where they were from, and when the photograph was taken.  

The boys and men in these photographs are the unsung heroes of the Civil War – though they are not often specifically named in history books, they were the backbone of the Union Army and deserve recognition.  

Here are a few of our favorite images from the collection: 

M.T. Wood. 1908. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. Boys in Blue Collection. Courtesy of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum.  
William B. Ray. 1889. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. Boys in Blue Collection. Courtesy of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. 
E.G. (Thomas E.G.) Ransom. circa 1860s. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. Boys in Blue Collection. Courtesy of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. 
Robert G. Ingersoll with grandson, Robert Ingersoll Brown. 1893. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. Boys in Blue Collection. Courtesy of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. 
Risdon M. Moore. 1899. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. Boys in Blue Collection. Courtesy of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. 
William J. Owen. circa 1890s. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. Boys in Blue Collection. Courtesy of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. 

View the full Boys in Blue Collection on the IDHH. 

View more Civil War documents on the IDHH.

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