Civil War

Seven Facts You Didn't Know About the Gettysburg Address

Nov 19, 2015
Library of Congress

Over one-hundred fifty years ago today, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the "Gettysburg Address."

At a scant 272 words, it has become Lincoln’s most famous speech and is one of American history’s best known as well.

But there’s a lot that isn’t commonly known about the context in which it was delivered, and our Civil War contributor Thomas Martin Sobottke offers these little-known facts.

1. Lincoln wasn't the keynote speaker.

For the past three years, Americans have been looking back at the Civil War during its 150th anniversary.  The war, in many ways, still shapes America today - in areas such as race relations and the economy. 

Eleanor Peterson, WUWM

As fall approaches, many Badger fans are heading out to Camp Randall to support their football team. However, about 150 years ago, the land didn’t house a football stadium. 


As the United States marks the 150th anniversary of noted Civil War battles, one form of commemoration – re-enactments – generally leave me with a feeling of discomfort.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A Syrian expatriate in Milwaukee is optimistic about a possible diplomatic solution to the crisis in his native country, after President Obama agreed to consider a plan by Russia.

As we mark the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, we've heard a lot about the battles, the heroes, the death tolls.

But what we don't hear often enough is about the people who had the biggest stake in the war's outcome: African-Americans - both slaves and free persons.

University of Wisconsin historian Steve Kantrowitz argues that we often overlook the role of Northern free blacks in the lead up to the civil war. 

Moving Train Books

A new historical novel features a murder mystery in the midst of the Civil War.

What Artifacts Best Represent the Civil War Experience?

Jul 22, 2013

The sesquicentennial of the Civil War continues this year – July will mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Iron Brigade Gave Union Advantage at Gettysburg

Jul 3, 2013
Scanned engraving from The Century Magazine

This week marks the 150th anniversary of one of the Civil War's most famous battles.  The Battle of Gettysburg was also the war's deadliest, and Wisconsin soldiers played a key role over its three days.

Letter of a Wisconsin Civil War Soldier Inspires Song

Jul 2, 2013
The Civil War Letters of Mack and Nan Ewing Collection

As we remember the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, we've been hearing about the experiences of Wisconsin soldiers fighting in the American Civil War.

Wisconsinites Make Last Stand at Gettysburg

Jul 2, 2013
Wiki Media Commons

One hundred fifty years ago, over the first 3 days of July, one of the fiercest and most important battles of the American Civil War was fought.

Library of Congress

One-hundred fifty years ago today, one of the fiercest and most important battles of the American Civil War began.

The Meaning of the Civil War

Dec 28, 2012

Over the course of the past year, Lake Effect has explored the role of Wisconsin soldiers in the American Civil War, in our series "Iron Brigade and Beyond."

Milwaukee Teen Led Brave Charge in Civil War Battle

Dec 21, 2012

While the Iron Brigade, and its Wisconsin regiments, get a lot of the glory due to their fierce fighting in the American Civil War, there were other Wisconsin regiments which showed their mettle in battle.

Perhaps no story drives that home more than that of Arthur MacArthur of Milwaukee at the Battle of Missionary Ridge in Tennessee, November 25, 1863.

Image courtesy of Library of Congress

As the country heads to the fiscal brink amid political posturing, it's easy to think that our current political environment is more polarized than it was in the past - that back in the old days, consensus was the norm, politicians didn't calculate with precision their next moves, and war wasn't politicized.