The Mysterious History of the Wide Awakes

The Wide Awakes marched through cities and towns across America in 1860. Who were they and why did they march?

The Mysterious History of the Wide Awakes

I first heard of the Wide Awakes in 2021. In researching, I can't find a consensus on why this group started and what it's goals were. They seem to be frustrated at both sides of the developing Civil War while also supporting (candidate) Lincoln.

No rosters of their members exists. Men will be mentioned as members in local newspaper articles, but its usually just the leaders. I'm very interested to know if these Wide Awakes were some of the first men who signed up for the Union Army in 1861 when the call went out. This is one of those questions that genealogists are better trained to answer than historians!

Here's their story in one minute with a list of sources I used in developing this video.


Sources (All Accessed 1 March 2023)

Images (Library of Congress)

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