In 1860 the Republicans nominated Abraham Lincoln for the presidency. It was feared that a Republican could not win in Democratic Pennsylvania, so the Republican Party abandoned its name in Pennsylvania and presented Lincoln as the candidate of the People’s Party, capturing the support of many voters who would not have voted for a Republican abolitionist. Pennsylvania Republicans split into two factions dominated by rival politicians: Andrew Gregg Curtin, elected governor in 1860, and Simon Cameron, a U.S. senator.
Lincoln’s election and the continuing conflicts between the North and South over slavery and states’ rights led to the outbreak of the Civil War in April 1861. Most Pennsylvanians, regardless of their party, vigorously supported the Union. Cameron became Lincoln’s first secretary of war. In 1862 Curtin played a leading role in the Altoona Conference, where Northern governors pledged to support a national draft. In addition to its militia, Pennsylvania supplied more than 375,000 men to the Union Army and Navy. Philadelphia financier Jay Cooke relieved the hard-pressed Treasury Department by marketing federal bonds, raising more than $1 billion in loans for the federal government during the war. Factories in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia produced huge amounts of heavy weapons and small arms.
Pennsylvania was the site of a major turning point of the war, the Battle of Gettysburg, fought from July 1 to July 3, 1863. The battle, which left more than 23,000 Union casualties and at least 25,000 Confederate casualties, halted the Southern army’s invasion of the North and put it on the defensive. On November 19, Lincoln delivered his famous speech, the Gettysburg Address, at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery near the battlefield. "Pennsylvania" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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