Cairo played a critical role in the Civil War. Projecting deeply into the South, controlling major waterways and railroads, Cairo was a bastion for the Union. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, the Army of Tennessee, the siege of Vicksburg, and the naval battle for the Mississippi were all launched from Cairo's riverbanks. The library contains an extensive collection of primary and secondary research documents relating to the city's role in the Union army's control of the Western theater in the Civil War.
Springfield, Illinois | During the dramatic years leading to the Civil War, the building had an important role in the political struggle between Stephen A. Douglas (1813-1861) and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)