2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment

The 2nd Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry was an infantry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. It spent most of the war as a member of the famous Iron Brigade of the Army of the Potomac.

2nd Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
Flag of Wisconsin
Wisconsin flag
ActiveJune 11, 1861, to July 2, 1864
CountryUnited States
AllegianceUnion
BranchInfantry
EngagementsBattle of First Bull Run
Battle of Groveton
Battle of Second Bull Run
Battle of Chantilly
Battle of South Mountain
Battle of Antietam
Battle of Fredericksburg
Battle of Chancellorsville
Battle of Gettysburg
Battle of the Wilderness
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

Service

The Governor of Wisconsin, Alexander W. Randall (R), issued a call to arms throughout the state of Wisconsin following President Abraham Lincoln's April 15, 1861, proclamation for troops to put down the rebellion. Enough Wisconsin men enrolled to allow the formation of two regiments, one more than the single regiment quota from Lincoln's directive. The 2nd Wisconsin was primarily raised in Madison, Racine, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, and La Crosse. It assembled in Madison and was mustered into Federal service on June 11, 1861, as a three years regiment (reorganized from the original three months regiment).[1] Governor Randall commissioned S. Park Coon, a 41-year-old native of New York and Wisconsin's attorney general prior to the war, as the new regiment's first colonel. The lieutenant colonel, Henry W. Peck, was an Ohioan who had graduated from West Point in 1851 and provided some professional military experience and training, versus the political appointee Coon.[2]

The regiment was transported to Washington, D.C., and saw its first combat at the First Battle of Bull Run in July 1861 in a brigade under William T. Sherman. Coon, never comfortable in his role as a military man, resigned July 30 to return to politics. Peck and the major also resigned, all were considered victims of the regiment's poor performance at Bull Run.[3] Three new field officers replaced them—Col. Edgar O'Connor, Lt. Col. Fairchild, and Maj. Thomas S. Allen. The appointment of O'Connor, married to a Southern woman and an outspoken Democrat, was met with sharp criticism in Wisconsin's media, particularly in the Republican newspapers. He would prove to be a brave and competent leader, however, and was killed in action in Virginia in late summer 1862.[4] Lt. Col. Fairchild was promoted to the rank of full colonel on September 8, 1862, to become the third commander of the 2nd Wisconsin Volunteers.

The regiment suffered severe casualties during the 1862 Northern Virginia Campaign, fighting against Stonewall Jackson's Confederates at the Battle of Groveton, and seeing more action at the Second Battle of Bull Run. During the subsequent Maryland Campaign, the 2nd Wisconsin attacked Turner's Gap during the Battle of South Mountain, and then again took high casualties in the Cornfield at Antietam.

Perhaps the regiment's finest hour came at Gettysburg, where it lost 77% of its strength (233 casualties out of 302 effectives) in stubborn fighting on McPherson's Ridge during the Iron Brigade's lengthy action on July 1, 1863.[5] Colonel Fairchild lost an arm due to severe wound, and most of the line officers went down as well. The regiment reformed on Culp's Hill and entrenched for the rest of the battle. It later served in the Bristoe and Mine Run Campaigns.

Although the 2nd Wisconsin was able to replenish some of its losses, it was never the same fighting force again. The regiment was mustered out on July 2, 1864. New recruits and later enlistees were consolidated into a battalion which was amalgamated with the 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment on November 30, 1864.

Total enlistments and casualties

The 2nd Wisconsin Infantry initially mustered 1051 men and later recruited an additional 152 men, for a total of 1203 men.[6] The regiment lost 10 officers and 228 enlisted men killed in action or who later died of their wounds, plus another 77 enlisted men who died of disease, for a total of 315 fatalities.[7]

Colonels

See also

References

  • The Civil War Archive
  • Busey, John W., and Martin, David G., Regimental Strengths and Losses at Gettysburg, Highstown, New Jersey: Longstreet House, 1994. ISBN 0-944413-32-3.
  • Nolan, Alan T., The Iron Brigade: A Military History, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1994. ISBN 0-253-20863-7.

Notes

  1. ^ Nolan, page 4.
  2. ^ Nolan, page 5.
  3. ^ Nolan, page 10.
  4. ^ Nolan, page 11.
  5. ^ Busey & Martin, page 239.
  6. ^ 2nd Wisconsin Archived March 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Civil War Archive
  8. ^ Nolan, page 287.

External links

  • Second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry - A large website with comprehensive information on the 2nd Wisconsin, as well as many other Wisconsin-based Civil War regiments and civilian life in the state during the period.
  • Wisconsin Battle Flags- A website by the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation showcasing the battle flags of Wisconsin regiments, including the 2nd Wisconsin.
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The Town of Covington is on eastern border of the county.

Edward S. Minor

Edward Sloman Minor (December 13, 1840 – July 26, 1924) was a U.S. Representative from Wisconsin.

Born in Jefferson County, New York, Minor moved to Wisconsin in 1845 with his parents, who settled in Greenfield, Wisconsin, and subsequently in the city of Milwaukee.

He attended the common schools.

He went with his parents to a farm in Sheboygan County in 1852 and engaged in agricultural pursuits.

He enlisted as a private in Company G, 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, in 1861.

Mustered out as first lieutenant in November 1865.

He engaged in the hardware business in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin from 1865 to 1884.

He served as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1877, 1881, and 1882.

He served in the Wisconsin State Senate 1883-1886 and as president pro tempore of the senate during the last term.

Superintendent of the Sturgeon Bay and Lake Michigan Ship Canal 1884-1891.

He served as a member of the Wisconsin Fish Commission for four years.

He served as mayor of Sturgeon Bay in 1894.

Minor was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-fourth and to the five succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1895 – March 3, 1907). He was first elected as the representative of Wisconsin's 8th congressional district serving from the Fifty-fourth Congress to the Fifty-seventh Congress. From the Fifty-eighth Congress, Minor redistricted and was elected as the representative of Wisconsin's 9th congressional district.

He served as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Interior (Fifty-eighth and Fifty-ninth Congresses).

He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1906.

He engaged in horticulture.

He was Postmaster of Sturgeon Bay from 1911 to 1915.

He served again as mayor of Sturgeon Bay in 1918.

He died in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, on July 26, 1924.

He was interred in Bayside Cemetery.

Fordyce R. Melvin

Fordyce Rust Melvin (July 23, 1832 – January 4, 1915) was an American farmer, businessman, and politician.

Born in Chester Township, Geauga County, Ohio, Melvin moved to Cattaraugus County, New York in 1848. In 1851, Melvin moved to Green County, Wisconsin and settled in the town of Brooklyn. During the American Civil War, Melvin served in the 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He was wounded at Bull Run and was discharged. Melvin then enlisted in the 24th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment and was again wounded. Melvin was a farmer and was an agent for the American Express Company; he also was involved with the fire insurance business and public conveyance. Melvin served as county treasurer for Green County and was a Republican. In 1879, Melvin served in the Wisconsin State Assembly. Melvin died at his home in Brooklyn, Wisconsin.

George G. Cox

George Goldsmith Cox (November 24, 1842 – February 19, 1920) was an American farmer and politician.

Born in Suffolk County, New York, Cox moved to Mineral Point, Wisconsin in 1850 and was a farmer. During the American Civil War, Cox served in the 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Cox served as chairman of the Mineral Point Town Board and superintendent of the poor. In 1879, 1880, 1885, and 1887, Cox served in the Wisconsin State Assembly and was a Republican. Cox died in Mineral Point, Wisconsin.

George G. Symes

George Gifford Symes (April 28, 1840 – November 3, 1893) was a U.S. Representative from Colorado.

Born in Ashtabula County, Ohio, Symes attended the common schools. He studied law, admitted to the bar, and practiced law in Paducah, Kentucky.

During the Civil War, he enlisted as a private in Company B, 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, on April 12, 1861.

He served as adjutant of the Twenty-fifth Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry.

Symes was commissioned colonel of the Forty-fourth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers, in August 1864.

He served as associate justice of the supreme court of Montana Territory from 1869 to 1871.

He resumed the practice of law in Helena, Montana.

He moved to Denver, Colorado, in 1874.

Symes was elected as a Republican to the Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Congresses (March 4, 1885 – March 3, 1889).

He engaged in the management of his estate and in the practice of law.

He died in Denver, Colorado, November 3, 1893.

He was interred in Denver's Fairmount Cemetery.

Henry B. Harshaw

Henry B. Harshaw was treasurer of Wisconsin. Harshaw was born Henry Baldwin Harshaw on June 14, 1842 in Argyle, New York. He moved to Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1854. Harshaw married Georgia M. Finney in 1864. During the American Civil War, he served with the 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment. While serving, he would be severely wounded and ultimately lose his left arm. Harshaw died of tongue cancer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 25, 1900. The community of Harshaw, Wisconsin was named in his honor.

Henry Peck

Henry Peck may refer to:

Henry "Hennery" Peck, fictional character commonly known as Peck's Bad Boy

Henry Peck (MP) for Chichester (UK Parliament constituency)

Henry W. Peck of 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Henry M. Peck House

Iron Brigade (disambiguation)

Iron Brigade may refer to:

Iron Brigade, a Union American Civil War brigade consisting of the 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 7th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 19th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and the 24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry

Eastern Iron Brigade (the First Iron Brigade), a Union American Civil War brigade, consisting of the 22nd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 24th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 30th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 14th Regiment (New York State Militia), 2nd United States Volunteer Sharpshooter Regiment, and the 2nd Regiment New York Volunteer Cavalry

Horn Brigade, also known as the "Iron Brigade of the Army of the Cumberland."

Shelby's Iron Brigade, a CSA American Civil War cavalry brigade.

A Union American Civil War brigade, the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, III Corps consisting of 17th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 3rd Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 5th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 1st New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 37th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and the 101st New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment

The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Infantry Division of the U.S. Army

The 2nd Brigade of the U.S. Army's 1st Armored Division

Previously ascribed to the 3rd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, now known as Team "Striker"

The 2011 video game Trenched by Double Fine, later titled Iron Brigade worldwide due to trademark issues.

John Johnson (Medal of Honor, 1842)

John Johnson (March 25, 1842 – April 3, 1907) served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Antietam and the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Johnson was born on March 25, 1842 in Norway. His official residence was listed as Janesville, Wisconsin.Johnson was a member of the 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, part of the Iron Brigade. He earned his medal of honor for valor displayed at the Battle of Antietam and the Battle of Fredericksburg. During the Battle of Fredericksburg, while loading a cannon, Confederate artillery fire severed his right arm. He continued to load with his left arm until blood loss caused him to faint. He was discharged from the Army on April 10, 1863.

He died April 3, 1907 and is buried in Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

Joseph Bock

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Patrick Henry Ray

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S. Park Coon

Squire Park Coon was an American politician and soldier from Wisconsin.

Coon was born on March 28, 1820 in Covington, New York. He studied at Norwich University and then studied law in New York. In 1843, Coon moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin Territory, where he practiced law. He served as District Attorney of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. Coon served as Wisconsin Attorney General 1850–1852. Later, during the American Civil War, he served in the 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment as colonel, but resigned soon after. He died on October 12, 1883 in Milwaukee.

Samuel K. Vaughan

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William H. Upham

William Henry Upham (May 3, 1841 – July 2, 1924) was an American soldier, businessman and politician who served as the 18th governor of Wisconsin.

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