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Iron Brigade & Beyond: Wisconsin in the Civil War - Part 1

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Society

It’s Memorial Day, a day set aside to honor our nation’s war dead. We thought it was an appropriate time to begin a new series on Wisconsin soldiers from a long ago war – the American Civil War, the bloodiest conflict fought on American soil. Although the war is typically characterized as battle between the North and the South, the then-Western frontier of Wisconsin played a pivotal role.

To mark the sesquicentennial of the War Between the States, which took place between 1861 and 1865, we’ve been running various interviews over the past year. Today, we’ll talk with local historian and author Thomas Martin Sobottke. He’ll bring the battles alive over the next several weeks as he recounts the bravery and sacrifice of the Wisconsin regiments that were instrumental to the Union cause. He begins our series by explaining that Wisconsin volunteer soldiers were part of the war effort from the start.

The Pewaukee writer, teacher, and independent Civil War historian Sobottke is also the author of the book, Across That Dark River: The Civil War Memory. It's published by Moving Train Books LLC, which he also founded.

Local historian Thomas Martin Sobottke reflects on the reputation of Wisconsin soldiers in the Civil War.