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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Civil War: 5th Infantry


The 5th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison and mustered into service for three years on July 12, 1861. It left Wisconsin for Washington, D.C., on July 24, 1861. During the war it moved through Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York (helping to quell that city's famous draft riots). It participated in the battles of Williamsburg, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee and his army. Soldiers who chose not to re-enlist were ordered home to Wisconsin and mustered out of service on August 3, 1864. The veterans were consolidated into a battalion of three companies who continued to serve until June 24, 1865 and mustered out of service on July 11, 1865. The regiment lost 329 men during service. Fifteen officers and 180 enlisted men were killed. Two officers and 132 enlisted men died from disease.

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[Source: Estabrook, Charles E, ed. Records and sketches of military organizations... (Madison, 1914?).]
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