Old Abe

Old Abe Wisconsin’s War Eagle

Old Abe, an icon in Wisconsin Civil War history was an American bald eagle who served with the Eighth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He participated in over 30 battles, narrowly avoiding wounds on several occasions. During the war, he became a rallying point to Union troops and an anathema to

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Here Lies Lieutenant Wemple

By Gregory Krueger, Curator of Exhibits At the start of the Civil War, Union forces were under the command of Winfield Scott. Scott, an old Army veteran, outlined a plan to defeat the southern states based upon the premise of a naval blockade of southern ports. Hoping to suffocate Southern

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The Price of a Name by Kevin Hampton

“The last terrible battle has reduced this brigade to a mere skeleton; there being scarcely enough members to form half a regiment, the 2nd Wisconsin, which but a few weeks since, numbered over nine hundred men, can now muster but fifty-nine. This brigade has done some of the hardest and best

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The “Grand Old Lady of Memorial Days” by Jennifer Carlson

Did you know that Memorial Day was first established as “Decoration Day” by the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) in May of 1868? Just three years after the Civil War, with so many soldiers lost, it was a way to pay tribute to those killed during America’s bloodiest war. To honor their loved

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The Iron Brigade & the Black Hat

“There are them damned black hatted fellows again!” This cry, and others like it, were made by disheartened Confederate troops on the first day of fighting at the battle of Gettysburg. Under the impression that they faced untrained militia, the Rebel troops quickly recognized the distinctive black Model 1858 “Hardee” hat

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