12th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment


The Twelfth Wisconsin Infantry Regiment (12th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment) organized at Camp Randall, Madison, Wisconsin, from October 18th to December 13, 1861. They left the state on January 11, 1862, for Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Active Duty 

The Twelfth remained in active service in Kansas until the latter part of May. Then, they left for Columbus, Kentucky on the 29th.They reached Kentucky on June 2, 1862, and thereafter the Twelfth was a part of the army of the Tennessee.  The Twelfth had the duty of guarding railways and in accompanying expeditions, including the expedition to Coldwater River, MS, April 18-24, 1863.  They took part in action at Hernando, MS, April 18, 1863.   

On May 11, they embarked at Memphis, TN, for Vicksburg, MS, and joined in the line of investment of and siege of Vicksburg, June 11, remaining in the trenches until the surrender of that place July 4, 1863.  They participated in the Jackson, MS Campaign from July 5 to 25, 1863, then returned to Vicksburg.  On August 15, the regiment left for Natchez, MS. They stayed in Missouri until November 22 participating in various expeditions. Then, they were ordered to Vicksburg where they had duty until February 1864. 

From February 3 to March 6, 1864, they took part in the Meridian Expedition. Later they joined the Army of the Tennessee with General Sherman's forces near Acworth, GA on June 8.  They continued with that Army throughout the Atlanta, the Savannah, and the Carolinas Campaigns, serving with Sherman's forces until the surrender of Johnston on April 26, 1865. 

After, they had many engagements. They engaged in the battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864. Then, they participated at the action and battle of Jonesborough, GA, from August 25 to September 1, 1864.  During their service, the Twelfth was designated as one of the "Marching Regiments", and their service had begun with many miles of marching in Kansas, before being transferred to Western Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi and finally with Gen. Sherman.  It is claimed that the regiment marched 3,838 miles, traveled by railroad 2,506 miles, by steamboat 3,159 miles, for a total of 9,503 miles. 

 The Twelfth then took part in the Grand Review at Washington, D.C on May 24. After the Grand Review, the regiment was sent to Louisville, KY where it went into camp.  They mustered out of service on July 20, returned to Madison, Wisconsin, and disbanded August 9, 1865. 


The Twelfth Wisconsin Infantry Regiment lost 3 officers and 93 enlisted men to mortal wounds. They lost an additional 3 officers and 224 enlisted men to disease.

For Further Research

Search our collections for photos and artifacts from Wisconsin in the Civil War. Read about other Wisconsin Civil War regiments. For detailed regimental histories of the U.S. Civil War, consult the Frederick H. Dyer, Compendium of the War of the Rebellion: Regimental Histories.

The histories above, unless otherwise noted, are adopted from Charles E. Estabrook, ed., Records and Sketches of Military Organizations, (Madison, 1914).

Standard, 12th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment

Blue silk field, with designs in colored paint; in center, design of U.S. eagle with shield and arrows, holding ribbon in beak marked "E Pluribus Unum", clouds and sunburst above; above eagle design, in gold letters, "FORWARD"; below eagle gold bordered ribbon badly faded with inscription "12th REGt. WIS. VOL."; on back side, same design in reverse, except words "E Pluribus Unum", which read correctly; gold cotton fringes 6cm along three borders; attachment to pole by edge folded into sleeve; some damage on lower right corner.