Immediately following the capture of Fort Sumter, President Abraham Lincoln, on April 15, 1861, issued a call for 75,000 militia - thus putting an end to all speculation about whether there would be civil war. At this time, Illinois had no arms nor an effective militia force. Governor Richard Yates called a special session of the General Assembly to provide for the organization of six regiments - the Illinois quota under the President's order. By October of that year Illinois had forty-three regiments in service. From April 17, 1861 to April 30, 1865 Illinois furnished 256,297 men who served during the war. By the end of the war, 35,000 Illinois men died fighting to preserve the Union. (For a more in-depth look at Illinois during the Civil War, see the Illinois Blue Book, 1959-1960, "Illinois and the Civil War" by Clyde C. Walton, Illinois State Historian, pp. 16-45)
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