Companies A, B, C, and D of the 38th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment were mustered into service on April 15, 1864, at Camp Randall in Madison, Wisconsin.
They left the state on May 3 and went directly to Virginia, arriving at White House, Virginia, on June 1. The battalion took its place in line before the enemy on June 12 and participated in the various movements about Cold Harbor of the command to which it was attached (reaching the trenches in front of Petersburg on June 16, 1864). The battalion remained almost continuously in service, actively engaged as part of the Ninth Army Corps, until the surrender of Richmond. The history of the regiment is identical to that of this organization. On October 1 of that year, Companies F, G, H, I, and K joined the regiment.
The 38th led the right of the assaulting column on Fort Mahone on April 2, 1865, and participated in the following battles during its service:
- Crater Mine Explosion (July 30, 1864)
- Weldon Railroad (August 18-21, 1864)
- Reams Station (August 25, 1864)
- Poplar Spring Church (September 30, 1864)
- Boydton Plank Road (a.k.a. Hatchers Run) (October 27-28, 1864)
- Assault on Petersburg (April 2, 1865)
All of the above battles were fought in Virginia.
After the surrender of the Confederates under General Lee (April 9, 1865), the 38th marched to Washington and participated in the Grand Review. They remained in camp about the city until June 10th, when a portion of the enlisted men were mustered out. The balance were mustered out on July 26th. The regiment returned to Madison, Wisconsin, on August 11, 1865, where it was disbanded.
The 38th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment lost 1 Officer and 56 men to mortal wounds and 56 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). This page was developed with the help of Bard.