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The Meaning of the Civil War

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."

We've taken you to the battlefields at Shiloh to Antietam to Gettysburg and more. But all the while, the voice of our series, historian Thomas Martin Sobottke has emphasized what these stories of heroics and sacrifice were about: freedom.

In this final installment in our series, Sobottke reflects on what Wisconsinites - and Americans - fought and died for, and what we need to take to heart from the war's legacy.

Sobottke has been the voice of our Civil War series, "Iron Brigade and Beyond: Wisconsin in the Civil War." We thank him sincerely for his insights and riveting narrative style. Sobottke is a historian, teacher, and the author of the book, Across That Dark River: The Civil War Memory, published by Moving Train Books, LLC. He has published articles for North and South magazine, including one on war correspondents, and he lives in Pewaukee. Our Civil War series was produced by Stephanie Lecci.