Oswego County, New York, bordering the southeastern shore of Lake Ontario, is an area rich in history from the colonial period up to the present. In the years before the Civil War, concerned residents participated in the abolition movement and the underground railroad, assisting runaway slaves to safety in Canada. By 1865 Oswego County had furnished an estimated 12,000 men to the Union cause.
Although far from the fighting, the residents of Oswego County were forever changed by the Civil War. One of the few regions that never forced a draft, thousands of men volunteered, motivated by patriotism, abolitionism or a yearning for adventure. Neither they nor their families were ever the same, and local author Natalie Joy Woodall relates their diverse experiences.