For most of the nineteenth century, Philadelphia's manufacturing base shaped the city, the "Workshop of the World," which made it critical in mobilizing to fight the war. Among the city's manufacturing strengths were shipbuilding and machinery, both of which contributed to construction of New Ironsides, an ironclad ship built quickly by two prominent firms in the summer of 1862. Read More...
US Colored Troops & Camp William Penn
In July 1862, Congress authorized President Abraham Lincoln to create regiments of African-American soldiers, although it was 1863 before the War Department organized the US Colored Troops (USCT). In the meantime, the state of Massachusetts created the famous 54th, the regiment made famous by the movie Glory (1989), and recruited widely. Philadelphians composed the majority of Company B in the 54th Massachusetts. Read More...
Financing the Civil War
When the Civil War began in April 1861, Anthony Drexel was 34 years old and running the bank founded by his father, Drexel & Co., the largest private bank in Philadelphia. To raise money to wage war, the US government turned to private bankers like Drexel to sell US bonds. The bankers bid on the bonds and then resold them to a broader range of customers, but this peacetime way of doing business quickly ran into problems. Read More...
Through its projects and events, Drexel will pay particular attention to the role of Philadelphia in the war. As a major northern city with many ties to the south, Philadelphia became particularly important as a center for manufacturing and medicine as well as a major transportation hub.
MacAlister Hall Room 2019/2020
(33rd & Chestnut Streets)