War & Military History in Wisconsin

The works below are about military history in Wisconsin. See the right column for more info about this website.

Frontier Conflict with Indians

Blackhawk War

Civil War

World War I

The Wisconsin National Guard

Milwaukee: King, Fowle, McGee 1894
Colbron, W. C.Go to Book

A history and overview of the Guard, which had about 2,500 men at the time of writing.

Army Life in Wisconsin Territory

Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin. 1898
Wisconsin Historical CollectionsGo to Book

Three historical papers and excerpts from an orderly book were packaged together into a single booklet by the Historical Society.

Part I: “The History of Fort Winnebago”, by Andrew Jackson Turner.
Part II: “Fort Winnebago Orderly Book 1834-36”.
Part III: “Abraham Lincoln in the Black Hawk War”, by Alfred Augustus Jackson
Part IV: “An English Officer’s Description of Wisconsin, in 1837” by Capt. Frederick Marryat, C.B.

Military life, military experience, Fort Winnebago, Black Hawk War, Abraham Lincoln, history online

Military History in Wisconsin

“French Fort at Prairie Du Chien a Myth”

Wisconsin Historical Collections Volume X (1888) pp 307- 320

Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society
Butterfield, C.W.Go to Article

The author argues that several Wisconsin historians have long maintained that during the period of the French regime, the French military had a sizeable fort at Prairie du Chien, although its exact location had not been pinpointed. The author believes that fort never existed, and uses the article to address the weakness of the evidence that had been put forth by its proponents.

Prairie du Chien, archaeology, military history

Wisconsin Census Enumeration 1895

Madison: Democrat 1896
Casson, Henry, Secretary of State, comp.Go to Book

Subtitle: “Names of Ex-Soldiers and Sailors residing in Wisconsin, June 20, 1895”.

Data for veterans includes name, rank, company, regiment, and post office address. Home state is also shown for veterans who arrived from outside Wisconsin.

Civil War veterans

“Early French Forts in Western Wisconsin”

Wisconsin Historical Collections Volume X (1888) pp 321- 372

Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society
Draper, Lyman C.Go to Article

Please see the article on this web page entitled “French Fort at Prairie Du Chien”. This article is a rebuttal.

Military forts in Wisconsin, Prairie du Chien, French forts, Wisconsin Historical Collections

“The Military History of Green Bay”


Madison: State Historical Society 1900
Evans, William L.Go to Article

This is a historical article republished as a booklet. The author states that the earliest we know of a fort at La Baye, which is what the French called Green Bay, was 1721. However, Nicholas Perrot,who became an independent trader at La Baye in 1665, was named commander-in-chief over all regions to the west in 1685. This article describes military activities at Green Bay from the 1720s through about 1850, under French, British and American government.

Green Bay WI history, Green Bay fort, 18th century, U.S. history

Frontier Conflict with Indians

“The Winnebago War of 1827”

Collections of the State Historical Society Vol 5 1907 pp 178-204

Madison: Wisconsin State Historical Society
McKenney, Thomas L. (Col.)Go to Article

The article describes the joint expedition of General Atkinson from Jefferson Barracks below St. Louis and Major Whistler from Ft. Howard on Green Bay to capture those who had committed murders at Prairie du Chien and prevent further attacks.

Note that this volume of Wisconsin Historical Collections contains several articles related to the Winnebago War.

Winnebago War, Wisconsin military history

Blackhawk War

“Causes of the Black Hawk War; Barbarous Treatment of Indian Women and Children”

Wisconsin Historical Collections Vol X 1888 pp 223-226

Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Go to Article

This is a reproduction of a newspaper article from May, 1833 that reports a rumor that prior to the beginning of the Black Hawk War a son of Black Hawk had been taken prisoner and was given 500 lashes. This incident was allegedly the provocation for Black Hawk going to war. The article also mentions other outrages against Indians that the newspaper editor suggests had goaded them into rebellion.

Note that this volume of Wisconsin Historical Collections contains a variety of articles related to the Black Hawk War.

See the resources on this site for: The Black Hawk War of 1832

Black Hawk War, causes of Black Hawk War, newspaper article

“The Battle of Peckatonica”

Wisconsin Historical Collections Vol X 1888 pp 178-183

Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Fitch, Matthew G. (Lieut.)Go to Article

This is a description of a battle in the Black Hawk War that took place in the mining region of Southwest Wisconsin.

See the resources on this site for: The Black Hawk War of 1832

Battle of Peckatonica, personal narrative, Black Hawk War, online free history

“Indian Campaign of 1832”

Wisconsin Historical Collections Vol X 1888 pp 150-166

Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Smith, Henry (Capt.)Go to Article

This is one of several articles in this volume of Wisconsin Historical Collections that address the Black Hawk War. The author was a company commander during the campaign, and wrote this report in 1833 at the request of the editors of Military and Naval Magazine.

See the resources on this site for: The Black Hawk War of 1832

Black hawk War, personal narrative, military history

Civil War

A Bibliography of Wisconsin’s Participation in the War Between the States…

Madison: Wisconsin History Commission 1911
Bradley, Isaac Samuel, comp.Go to Book

(title continued) “…based upon material contained in the Wisconsin Historical Library”

Many of the books listed in this bibliography are available online for free. For assistance in finding them, see our blog post Searching for eBooks.

For histories of the Civil War, see also on this site: Section 973.7 Civil War on U.S. History; 1845 through the Civil War

Books on Civil War, Wisconsin in Civil War

Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865 (2 volumes)

Madison: Democrat 1886
Chapman, Chandler P., Adjutant General, comp.Go to Vol 1|Go to Vol 2

Information for each veteran includes his residence, date he volunteered, and remarks. Remarks generally include campaigns in which he participated, whether wounded, killed or disabled, and date of discharge or mustering out. Names are listed within regiments, so in order to find a veteran it is best to know his military unit.

Civil War volunteers, Civil War veterans

Wisconsin in the Civil War

Madison: State of Wisconsin 1907
Commission on Preparation of History of the Wisconsin Soldiers in the Civil War Go to Book

Mainly a list of published histories of Wisconsin regiments.

Service with the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers

Marietta, OH: Alderman 1890
Dawes, Rufus R.Go to Book

According to the editor who reprinted this 1890 book in 1962, ” … the book is a combination of the personal experiences of Rufus R. Dawes and a history of the regiment of which he was a member. In the vast literature of the American Civil War, it has long been recognized as exceptional. Its excellence is the project of three factors: the character and abilities of the author; the historical techniques and materials which he used; and the events in which he and his regiment participated.”

Regimental Publications & Personal Narratives of the Civil War: A Checklist. Vol. 1, Part 6 – Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin

NY: New York Public Library 1961-1972
Dornbusch, Charles EmilGo to Book

This is Part 6 of a 7-part work, which covers Civil War histories of 17 participating northern states. Part 6 covers Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. According to the compiler’s Preface, every battery and regiment is listed, and arranged numerically by arm of service – Artillery, Cavalry and Infantry. Any publications that could be associated with a particular battery or regiment are listed under that unit, including regimental histories, personal narratives, reunion proceedings, unit rosters and even sermons preached at soldiers’ funerals. Personal narratives by individuals who served under more than one unit are found under the unit of their first service.

Many or most of these articles and books are likely available online, free. For assistance in finding these, see our blog post Searching for eBooks.

For histories of the Civil War, see also on this site: Section 973.7 Civil War on U.S. History; 1845 through the Civil War

For biographies of Civil War Generals, see:
– Grant, F. D., ed., Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant in Century Past Biographies: G & H
White, Henry Alexander, Robert E. Lee and the Southern Confederacy, 1807-1870 in Century Past Biographies: I, J, K & L;
Sherman, William Tecumseh, Personal Memoirs in Century Past Biographies: S;
Johnston, Robert M., Leading American Soldiers in Century Past Collective Biography G – P;
Bradford, Gamaliel, Confederate portraits in Century Past Collective Biography A – F;
Bradford, Gamaliel, Union portraits in Century Past Collective Biography A – F

Civil War regimental histories, Civil War personal narratives

The Chattanooga Campaign

Madison: Wisconsin History Commission 1911
Fitch, Michael HendrickGo to Book

Subtitle: “with especial reference to Wisconsin’s participation therein”.

Chapter headings:
1. The Preliminary Campaign Organization. Organization of the Confederate Army. The advance of the Union Army.
2. The Chickamauga Campaign and Battle. The Confederate line on September 20. The Confederate attack upon the Union right. Wisconsin troops at Chickamauga.
3. The Occupation and Battles of Chattanooga. The Battle of Lookout Mountain. Wisconsin troops in the Battle of Missionary Ridge.

Civil War personal narrative, Battle of Chickamauga, Battle of Chattanooga

The Battle of Gettysburg

Madison: Wisconsin History Commission 1908
Haskell, Frank AretasGo to Book

A fine first-person account of the battle, by a colonel in Wisconsin’s Iron Brigade.

A Narrative of Service with the Third Wisconsin Infantry

Madison: Wisconsin History Commission 1912
Hinkley, Julian WisnerGo to Book

The author was the Captain of Company E. Chapter headings:
– Enlistment and training
– Departure for the Front
– Service in Maryland
– On the trail of Stonewall Jackson
– The Tables Turned
– At Cedar Mountain
– The Army retreats Northward
– Moving toward the Enemy
– Battle of South Mountain
– Battle of Antietam
– In Winter Quarters
– Chancellorsville
– A Cavalry Expedition
– Gettysburg
– On Draft Riot Duty
– With the Army of the Cumberland
– The Third Veteranizes
– Reorganizing Lincoln County
– Opening of the Atlanta Campaign
– Wounded and in Hospital
– The Siege of Atlanta
– The March to the Sea
– In Front of Savannah
– In Savannah
– Marching Northward
– Peace
– Homeward

Civil War soldier, Battle of Antietam, Battle of Gettysburg, March to the Sea, Battle of Chancellorsville

Wisconsin Women in the War Between the States

Madison: Wisconsin History Commission 1911
Hurn, Ethel AlcieGo to Book

Chapter headings:
1. The Departure of the Regiments
2. Soldiers’ Aid Societies
3. The Wisconsin Soldiers’ Aid Society and Mrs. Henrietta Colt
4. Conditions at Home
5. Letters for the Front
6. Women with the Regiments
7. Hospitals and Nurses
8. Mrs. Cordelia A. P. Harvey
9. Mrs. Harvey’s Interview with Lincoln
10. The Christian Commission
11. The Northwestern Sanitary Fair
12. The Milwaukee Soldiers’ Home and the Soldiers’ Home Fair

Civil War home-front, Women in the Civil War

Capture and Escape; A Narrative of Army and Prison Life

Madison: Wisconsin History Commission 1908
Kellogg, John AzorGo to Book

Kellogg was a Colonel in the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.

Civil War POWs, Civil War personal narrative

Wisconsin and the Civil War

Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin 1963
Klement, Frank L.Go to Book

This “synopsis” of just over 100 pages was prepared for the Civil War centennial in Wisconsin. In addition to a concise account of the raising of troops and their deeds on the battlefield, it is a history of events, politics and economic development in Wisconsin during the war.

Wisconsin in Civil War

Wisconsin at Shiloh; Report of the Commission

Madison: Wisconsin Shiloh Monument Commission 1909
Magdeburg, F. H., Cpt., comp.Go to Book

Describes the activities of the Wisconsin military units that participated in the battle, includes the speeches made at the dedication of the monument, and includes various other information about the battle and the commemoration efforts of other states.

A History of the Civil War Draft in Wisconsin

Madison: University of Wisconsin 1915
Schoonover, Lynn IraGo to Book

An M.A. thesis in the history department of University of Wisconsin.

Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion (2 vols)

Madison: State of Wisconsin 1886
Wisconsin Adjutant GeneralGo to Book

Both volumes are at this link. Use Wisconsin Volunteers; War of the Rebellion 1861-1865 (on this webpage, below) to find the unit in which a veteran served, then use this roster to find his service record.

Wisconsin Volunteers; War of the Rebellion 1861-1865

Madison: State of Wisconsin 1914
Wisconsin Adjutant GeneralGo to Book

This list gives full name, rank, company and regiment. This is the best place to start when searching for a veteran; then use the regiment to find the individual’s war record in Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers; War of the Rebellion, also on this webpage.

Wisconsin Soldiers and Sailors Reunion Roster

Fond du Lac, WI: Star Steam Job 1880
Wisconsin Soldiers Reunion AssociationGo to Book

(title continued) ” … containing the Postoffice Address, Occupation and name of every Wisconsin Soldier and Sailor, now living in any part of the World, and every other Soldier, now in the State, who responded to the Reunion Call. Also the Name of every Wisconsin Soldier who perished in the War ….”

Organized by regiment.

World War I

War Book of the University of Wisconsin: Papers on the Causes and Issues of the War by Members of the Faculty

Madison: University of Wisconsin 1918
University of Wisconsin Go to Book

Collected articles that were published in weekly University of Wisconsin “War Pamphlets” during 1917-18, which had been distributed to individuals, public libraries, high schools and county councils of defense. Articles discussed the causes of the war, methods used by Germany in pursuing it, conditions under which the U.S. entered the conflict, and the significance of the war for the world.

You can find more works like these at our other ‘War & Military History’ pages. For more on the Black Hawk War, see the ‘Illinois War & Military History’ page.

War & Military History in the Great Lakes Region

Illinois War & Military History

Indiana War & Military History

Ohio War & Military History

Michigan War & Military History

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