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Iron Brigade & Beyond: Wisconsin in the Civil War

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Iron Brigade & Beyond: Wisconsin in the Civil War

A Special Lake Effect Series

The American Civil War is so often characterized as a war between the North and South, that it's easy to forget that the then-Western frontier of Wisconsin played a pivotal role in the conflict. Though it had achieved statehood less than 20 years prior, its citizens nonetheless were firmly committed to preserving the Union - and most importantly, ending slavery. Wisconsinites volunteered in droves, making the state one of the highest soldiers-per-capita contributors to the Union cause. Its regiments were key players in some of the biggest battles of the war and their reputations often preceded them. With their fearsome fighting style and refusal to back down, these regiments, notably the Iron Brigade, inspired fear - and garnered respect - from their enemies. The Civil War was the bloodiest conflict fought on American soil, and Wisconsinites suffered disproportionate casualties.

As we commemorate the sesquicentennial of the War Between the States, fought between 1861 and 1865, Lake Effect will tell the story of Wisconsin soldiers in the war, with the help of local historian and author Thomas Martin Sobottke. He’ll bring the battles alive over the course of our series, "Iron Brigade & Beyond: Wisconsin in the Civil War," as he recounts the bravery and sacrifice of the Wisconsin regiments that were instrumental to the Union cause. Plus, we look at some of the interesting but little known parts of Civil War history from visiting scholars, musicians and authors.