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Vicksburg: the Eighth Wisconsin Enters the Western Theater of the Civil War

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.

By 1863, Wisconsin soldiers were back at it, this time in the so-called western theater of the war.

Wisconsin regiments, notably the Old Abe 8th, participated valiantly during the long siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi.

As our Iron Brigade and Beyond series continues, independent historian Thomas Martin Sobottke explains why Vicksburg was such a strategic target for Union forces.

Sobottke is a Pewaukee historian, teacher, and the voice of our Civil War series. He's the author of the book, Across That Dark River: The Civil War Memory, published by Moving Train Books, LLC. Our Civil War series is produced by Stephanie Lecci.