Excerpt from the article:
With the assistance of volunteer Fred Delap of Kansas, Ill., the Secretary of State’s office, which oversees the state archives, entered information into the electronic database.
Previously, the state website had an index of the names of the state’s more than 285,000 Civil War soldiers, but it did not contain any personal information about them.
The new, searchable database contains the names of soldiers who fought with Illinois units during the Civil War, as well as their ages, physical descriptions, hometown and service record.
It also contains the dates they entered and left the service.
I think more and more states )and other government entities) are starting to realize two things: the web is a great place to share information with the public (and is much more cost effective than traditional methods), and genealogy is big.