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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Historical Essay

King, Gen. Rufus (1814-1876)

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Newspaper Editor

Brief biography of Gen. Rufus King, a leader of the famous Iron Brigade and influential newspaper editor.

Historical Essay

Petersburg, Siege of

Civil War Battle Summary

Read about Wisconsin troops' role in the 10-month Union siege of Petersburg, Virginia, which led to the surrender of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Historical Essay

Hopewellian Human Figurine

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Human figurine fragment made of non-tempered, smoothed clay, c. 100 - 200 A.D., found at Pine River site, Richland County, WI (Museum object #2004.5.1)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Reebok baby shoes beaded by Ho-Chunk artist Linda Lucero, c. 1990. (Museum object #1993.102A-B)

Historical Essay

How Madison Became a City

Madison went from a small village in 1836 to being organized and governed as a city in 20 years time

Historical Essay

Stones River, Battle of

Civil War Battle Summary

Learn about Wisconsin's involvement in the bloodiest major battle during the Civil War. This article includes links to related images and documents.

How the State was Formed

Discover how Wisconsin was formed.

An Old Man's Tall Tale

Wisconsin pioneer Joseph Crelie was said to be 139 years old when he was exhibited to spectators in 1864. But how old was he really?

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

On May 9, 1864, Ojibwe Indians from the 7th Wisconsin Infantry help drive back enemy skirmishers with American Indian war tactics in Spotsylvania, Virginia
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Have Questions?

If you have questions about historical research, please contact our Library Reference Services staff by phone at 608-264-6535 or by email.

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