As part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and in partnership with the statewide Pennsylvania Civil War 150 efforts, the Senator John Heinz History Center has developed a new traveling exhibit, The Civil War in Pennsylvania, which is presented by Peoples Natural Gas.
Beginning in March 2012, this 500 square foot exhibit will tour sites throughout Western Pennsylvania and is provided free of charge to members of the History Center's Affiliates Program.
Nine local historical organizations are currently confirmed to host The Civil War in Pennsylvania exhibit and a total of 40 or more sites throughout the region will eventually host it, each for a period of three to four weeks. The Beaver Area Heritage Museum will be the first venue to host the exhibit in late March.
While the battles that determined the fate of the Union were not fought in this region, no life went untouched by the conflict. As the "Arsenal of the Union," Western Pennsylvania provided both the industrial might and the infantrymen that brought victory for the North.
In fact, the Commonwealth's greatest resource might have been its citizens - more than 340,000 Pennsylvanians, including 8,600 black troops, served in the Union Army, a number second only to New York state. Pennsylvania played a critical role in the war providing industrial might, agricultural bounty, and natural resources.
Those on the home front raised funds to support troops on the field, on the move, and in hospitals. Women took over running the family farm, provided care packages, wrote letters with news from home, and offered prayers for spiritual support. Over 80% of the iron used by the Union came from Pennsylvania and it was fashioned into railroad ties, artillery, and ammunition. The fertile Cumberland Valley provided flour and meat to feed troops. And nearly all the coal used for fuel came from Pennsylvania mines. The war touched every Pennsylvanian’s life. The Civil War in Pennsylvania exhibit will present their stories.