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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Month of the Military Child: Augustus Patchin and Family

By Russell Horton, Reference & Outreach Archivist  The Wisconsin Veterans Museum focuses on preserving the stories of men and women who serve in the US military. But very often, in the letters, photographs, and objects from those veterans, we can learn much of the families and children who remained home,

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Rearguard at Gettysburg

By Kevin Hampton, Curator of History On the afternoon of July 1, 1863, the 7th Wisconsin played a pivotal role as the rear guard of the Union Army during the retreat through the town of Gettysburg. Though the regiment held their position as long as possible along a rail fence

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Poetry and Proverbs

By Russell Horton, Reference Archivist “If I die a prisoner of war, I would like to have this diary sent to my Father, A. Ingersoll, Waupun, Wis.” -Frank J. Ingersoll, Diary Entry, ca. September 1864 In the first two years of the Civil War, soldiers from either side of the

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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 La Crosse Light Guard Flag

When the Civil War began and President Lincoln called for volunteers in April 1861, Wisconsin’s volunteer militia companies answered the call. Among the first to offer their services to Wisconsin’s Governor Alexander Randall, the La Crosse Light Guard marched into Madison under a beautiful white silk flag made for them

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Lincoln’s Railcar Plate

By: Andrea Hoffman (Collections Manager) In November of 1864, the United States Military Railroad’s car shop in Alexandria, Virginia began construction of a new official railcar for President Abraham Lincoln. When it was completed a few months later, the new car, dubbed the “United States,” was considered the most opulent private

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A Soldier’s Sacrifice by Emily Irwin

On January 1, 1866, Governor Lucius C. Fairchild delivered his inaugural address and emphasized the Civil War’s impact on Wisconsin. A million of men have returned from the war, been disbanded in our midst, and resumed their former occupations… The transition from the citizen to the soldier was not half so rapid, nor

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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 Archivist Chronicles: A Union Addition by Andrew Baraniak

The use of wallpaper as a substitute for newsprint was a common occurrence for some printers in Louisiana and Mississippi during the Civil War. Most paper mills were in the North, and printers in those regions looked to wallpaper as an alternative to dwindling paper supplies as the war dragged

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