We’ve been learning about the contribution Wisconsinites made, 150 years ago, to the Union cause in the American Civil War. It was a significant contribution - and sacrifice, despite Wisconsin’s relatively recent entry into the union and its distance from the battlefield.
Among the most pivotal early battles on the war’s Western front was the Battle of Shiloh, which played out in April of 1862 in southwestern Tennessee. The Union claimed it as a victory, but it came at a terrible price – more than 10,000 Confederate and more than 13,000 Union casualties. That includes all six color guard members of the 16th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
As part of our Iron Brigade & Beyond: Wisconsin in the Civil War series, local Civil War historian and author Thomas Martin Sobottke shares the story of several Wisconsin regiment’s terrifying trial by fire at Shiloh.
A Pewaukee resident, Sobottke also is the author of Across That Dark River: The Civil War Memory, published by Moving Train Books LLC, and our Civil War contributor. Our Civil War series is produced by Stephanie Lecci. We’ll hear another installment later this month.
Earlier, Sobottke talked about Wisconsin soldiers being taken prisoner at Shiloh - you can hear about how Confederate soldiers ended up as POWs in Wisconsin in the supplemental audio section below. For more context on Shiloh's significance, check out our links below.