Inspired by the NCAA basketball tournament, we decided to run a Beard Bracket Challenge on our facebook page. We selected 16 images of Wisconsin Civil War soldiers with very impressive beards, seeded them, and began pitting them against each other, asking the public to vote on the winner of each match-up. The contest proved incredibly popular, and though there were some close votes and a few upsets along the way, the top overall seed James Loughrey triumphed in the end.
In addition to showing off some of our image collection in a fun way, this also presented an opportunity to share the stories of these brave men who served our country 150 years ago. Below are the names of the 16 men featured in the contest. Click on any of them to both see their picture and read about their lives and military service.