2nd Wisconsin Infantry Regiment


The Second regiment of Infantry was first organized under the call for volunteers for three months service.  After the full number was accepted, the Second mustered into the service of the U.S. on June 11, 1861, in Madison, Wisconsin. Their term of service was specified as "Three years or during the war" under the call of the President, dated May 3, 1861, for "500,000 men." They left the State on June 20, and arrived in Washington, D.C. on June 25. Afterwards, until the regiment was mustered out, the Second Infantry served in that part of the Union Army known as the Army of Virginia and the "Army of the Potomac."  

Active Duty 

 In July, the Second brigaded with three New York regiments of Infantry; all of them under the command of Colonel (later General) William T. Sherman. Together, they participated in the battle of Bull Run in Virginia on July 21.  On August 27, the regiment was assigned to the brigade under the command of Brig. Gen. Rufus King. This brigade became known as the "Iron Brigade."  The Iron Brigade participated in all the historic battles fought by the Army of the Potomac until May 11. After the battle of Laurel Hill, the Second had less than 100 men present for duty. Because of this size reduction, they permanently detached from the brigade and was assigned to duty as provost guard of the Fourth Division of the Fifth Army Corps.  

Following the march of that division, they crossed the North Anna River on the 21, arriving at  Chickahominy, Virginia, on June 6.  The regiment remained in Virginia until the expiration of their term of service.  On the morning of June 11, 1864, the Second started for Wisconsin, except those who had re-enlisted and recruits whose term of service had not expired.  The Second reached Madison on the June 18 and mustered out of the military service of the United States on the July 2, 1864. 


The Second Infantry lost 1 officer and 6 men to mortal wounds and 22 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, 2nd Wisconsin Infantry Regiment

Obverse: gold eagle, frontal, centered on dark blue silk field. Head to right holding gold ribbon inscribed "E Pluribus Unum: surrounded by 13 gold 5 pointed stars in random field crowned by gold aurora. Red and white striped shield on eagle's breast without blue field and stars . Below, gold scroll with red outlined letters "2d Regt. Wisconsin Volunteers." Reverse: arch shaped state seal in full color approximately 110cm X 110cm with gold scroll above on which are the red letters "Forward!" Large section missing from left 1/3 of seal as well as trailing edge of flag. Partial yellow silk fringe on top and bottom, silk ties for attachment to mast.

Standard, 2nd Wisconsin Infantry Regiment

Obverse: circular state seal in full color, 30" diameter, centered 12 1/2" below top of flag on dark blue silk field. Below is red scroll with gold edge and letters "2d Wisconsin Infantry Vols." Bordered by 2 1/2" yellow silk fringe on 3 sides and 2 1/2" sleeve for staff. Reverse: full color war eagle in 30" circle. Frontal holding ribbon inscribed "E Pluribus Unuim." Shield of red, white, and blue stars and stripes on breast, holding arrows and olive branch. 13 stars in 3 row arch above eagle's head. "2d Wisconsin Infantry Vols." in gold edged and lettered scroll below circle. Small section missing from upper right of field, otherwise intact with light to moderate deterioration. a Wooden staff with brass arrowhead tip and prongs. Blue and white braid cord and tassels.