Nevada’s major contribution to the Union during the Civil War was gold and silver bullion, used by the U.S. government as collateral for FPO credit. This earned Nevada the nickname the “Silver State.” The state raised thirteen companies of troops. One served with a California regiment and the others fought against local tribes of hostile Indians; none of thecompanies saw action against Confederate troops. Mining continued to flourish in the postwar years. The first transcontinental railroad was completed across Nevada in 1869, and the Central Pacific Railroad gained the lucrative freight concession from the Comstock mines. Cattle ranching also started in the 1860s, followed by sheep herding in the 1870s. Both activities were pursued by the state’s Spanishimmigrant population.
New Hampshire, with a population of about 326,000, was a highly-industrialized manufacturing state by the time the Civil War began. A great number of textile mills had been established from the 1810s onward, and by the 1830s, railroad lines stretching into the breadbasket of the Midwestern states eroded the role of agriculture in the local economy. Farmlandwas reclaimed by forest and stone walls that once marked fields and pastures crumbled. After the war, large-scale shoe factories joined the textile mills as important industries. New Hampshire sent eighteen regiments of troops to fight for the United States, and about thirty-nine thousand men from the state served in the Union forces during the war.
New Jersey was divided duringthe Civil War, with many of its citizens having Southern sympathies. A largely Democratic state, New Jersey did not support Abraham Lincoln for reelection in 1864, casting its votes instead for former U.S. Gen. George B. McClellan, a Democrat and a son of the state who campaigned on a platform of peace even if it meant dissolution of the Union. Nonetheless, about 88,000 men from New Jersey foughtunder the Federal flag during the war. New Jersey’s wartime population of 672,000 people was predominantly of northern European extraction until after the Civil War, when many blacks migrated from the South in search of unskilled factory work, along with overseas immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe. During the nineteenth century, New Jersey gained a reputation as the home of severalimportant inventors. In the early 1800s, John Stevens built the world’s first steam ferry line and America’s first steam locomotive, and later in the century Thomas Alva Edison set up shop at Menlo Park.
New York has been known as the Empire State since its earliest years. At the time of the Civil War, it had the largest population of any state in the Union, swelled in part by immigrantsto more than 3,880,000, and led the way in industry and manufacturing.
New York society had become more liberalized through the 1840s, abolishing slavery and seeking reform in the areas of women’s rights, temperance, and education. A strong abolitionist movement had developed in New York during this period. Some 500,000 New Yorkers fought for the Union during the war, andone in ten of them was killed. Support for the war was not universal throughout the state, however, and dissent against the war effort was demonstrated most dramatically by the 1863 draft riots. After the war, New York’s economy developed rapidly, as did the state’s urban areas, inflated by the vast waves of European immigrants flowing into the state. Political corruption, unjust labor practices,and inadequate social services attended these expansions.
Ohio was strongly identified with abolitionist sentiment before and during the Civil War. The Underground Railroad was active on Lake Erie and along the Ohio River, and by 1848, the state had repealed its black laws. Nearly 320,000 men from the state fought for the Union. It did, nonetheless, still have a significant amount of...