Collage of historical images.

Wisconsin History Essays

Learn something new about the past and gain a deeper understanding of your world. Hundreds of essays tell the stories of the people, places and events that are Wisconsin history.

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Search by keyword below to find information on Wisconsin's history.

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A Wisconsin Civil War Story

On February 12, 1863, Captain Rufus R. Dawes of the 6th Wisconsin Infantry offers a group of slaves in Virginia the choice of freedom

Historical Essay

Oldest Toast in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Charred bread slices recovered from the Alden's Corners archaeological site in Dane County, Wisconsin. (Museum object #2002.211.1,3,5)

Historical Essay

Camp Life During Quiet Times

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

On June 10, 1863, Captain Rufus R. Dawes of the 6th Wisconsin Infantry describes a typical day in camp to his fianceé.

Historical Essay

Carpenter's Tool Chest

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Tool chest used by carpenter Charles Colburn of Wonewoc, Wisconsin, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (Museum object #2004.137.1-248)

Historical Essay

South Mountain, Battle of

Civil War Battle Summary

Learn about the Civil War battle that spawned the nickname, the "Iron Brigade." Article details Wisconsin's role in the battle and includes links.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 23rd Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison and mustered into service on August 30, 1862.

Historical Essay

Surveying 1830s Wisconsin

Learn about the creation of Wisconsin's first maps, with links to the surveyors' notebooks and diaries and the state's first township maps.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

On July 1, 1863, Colonel Rufus R. Dawes and the 6th Wisconsin Infantry bravely move forward amid hidden enemy fire and finally capture the rebels

Read the story of Madison's first and most beloved drunkard, Pinneo.
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