Throughout the fall of 1862, Wisconsin soldiers were making a name for themselves for their ferocious fighting in several major battles - most notably the Black Hats of the West gained their better known moninker The Iron Brigade after an epic battle at Sout Mountain 150 years ago last month.
A few weeks ago, we told you about Marquette University's unique take on commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. The university's year-long "Freedom Project" will take a cross-disciplinary approach to examining the multiple and complex definitions of freedom, in the past and today. As part of the broader Freedom Project, the Haggerty Museum of Art has designed three exhibitions centered on this general theme of freedom.
With election season in full swing, it's easy to think that today's political environment is more polarized than 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.
Of course, one has to merely rewind about 150 years to the American Civil War to rejigger that assumption.
"That...all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free..." We know those words: they're from the opening lines of the Emancipation Proclamation, which upon being issued by President Abraham Lincoln, went into effect January 1, 1863.
Most of the commemorations in this second year of the Civil War sesquicentennial revolve around analyzing the military history of the conflict. But Marquette University wanted to mark the anniversary by presenting another angle: the meaning of freedom.