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Curators' Favorites: War

Civil War Governor Harvey's Knife

Pocket knife found on the corpse of Wisconsin Governor Louis P. Harvey after he drowned in the Tennessee River on April 19, 1862. (Museum object #1969.4) Louis P. Harvey had been the Governor of Wisconsin for only a month when...
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Posted September 21, 2011



Atomic Age Evacuation Route Sign

Evacuation Route road sign used to direct Milwaukee, Wisconsin residents out of town in the event of a potential nuclear bomb detonation, installed 1955-1957. (Museum object #1996.121.1) A mushroom cloud over Milwaukee! During the mid-1950s many Milwaukeeans feared that the...
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Posted December 25, 2008



War of 1812 Cannonball

Fragment of six-pound cannonball fired in battle between American and British forces on July 1814 at Prairie du Chien, Illinois Territory (now Wisconsin). (Museum object #H162) Few people may be aware that the War of 1812 was partially waged in...
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Posted June 19, 2008



Civil War Loyalty Flag

20-star United States Flag used in initiation ceremonies to the Union League, where members swore to protect the Union and its values, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, 1862-1865. (Museum object #1951.213) Most Americans believe that the Civil War consisted of two...
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Posted June 12, 2008



Civil War Draft Drum

Military draft raffle drum used to select draftee names in Milwaukee, Wisconsin during the Civil War, 1863-1864. (Museum object #1966.174) Disorganization and dissent marked the state and federal governments' efforts to recruit troops during the Civil War. These efforts included...
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Posted November 8, 2007



"Rosie the Riveter" Coveralls

Women's coveralls worn by Teresa Kuykendall while working in a factory in Beloit, Wisconsin during World War II. (Museum object #2007.92.1) Teresa Kuykendall of Beloit, Wisconsin was a real life "Rosie the Riveter" during World War II. In 1943 she...
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Posted August 16, 2007



Milwaukee Light Guard Uniform Coat

Milwaukee Light Guard coat worn by Captain John C. Starkweather, 1858-1861. (Museum object #1957.282) John Converse Starkweather was a born leader, a successful lawyer, and a distinguished Civil War officer. Born in Cooperstown, New York, in 1830, Starkweather's education began...
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Posted July 19, 2007



World War II Airplane ID model

Airplane identification model constructed by junior high school students in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1942. (Museum object #1966.298.34) "Friend or foe?" One of the many questions on the concerned minds of Americans following the December 7, 1941 attack by the Japanese on...
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Posted December 7, 2006



Lice Comb from Fort Crawford

Bone lice comb from site of first Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, 1816-1829. (Museum object #1997.62.11941) Everyday life at a frontier fort in the early nineteenth century was no easy affair. When the United States Army decided to...
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Posted November 9, 2006



World War I "Sons in Service" Flag

“Sons in Service” flag from the Washbush home in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, 1917-1918. (Museum object #1985.34.1) During World War I the Washbush family of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, hung this “Sons in Service” flag in the window of their...
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Posted May 25, 2006



Auschwitz Concentration Camp Sweater

Concentration camp sweater worn by Tadeusz Kowalczyk while a prisoner at Auschwitz during World War II. (Museum object #1985.92) In late June 1940 German soldiers arrested Polish veterinarian Tadeusz "Ted" Kowalczyk while he was tending animals at Polish President Wladyslaw...
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Posted April 20, 2006



Native American Vietnam Veteran Pouch

Pouch obtained from an Oneida Indian at the 1997 Milwaukee River Front Pow-Wow. (Museum object #1999.40.1) Acquired from an Oneida Indian at a Pow-Wow in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the bag shown at left represents the proud tradition of Native American military...
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Posted November 10, 2005



Sterling Hall Bombing Engine Fragment

Engine fragment from the van used in the Sterling Hall bombing, 1970. (Museum object #1994.8) This twisted piece of metal is the only known remnant of the van that carried the bomb that rocked the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus on...
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Posted August 18, 2005



Black Hawk War Powder Horn

Powder horn used by a member of Colonel Dodge's militia during the Black Hawk War, 1832. (Museum object #1947.851) An unknown member of Colonel Henry Dodge's militia carried this powder horn during the Black Hawk War during the spring and...
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Posted July 28, 2005



Fairchild Portrait by John Singer Sargent

Portrait of Lucius Fairchild by John Singer Sargent, 1887. (Museum object #1942.305) After losing an arm at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, General Lucius Fairchild returned to a political career in Wisconsin, eventually serving as governor for three successive...
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Posted June 30, 2005



Fugitive Slave Collar

Iron collar removed from a fugitive slave by Wisconsin soldiers in 1862. (Museum object #1961.73) In early June 1862, the 4th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry occupied Baton Rouge, Louisiana. According to John T. Perry of Company I, within days of the...
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Posted June 16, 2005



Civil War Silver

Tiffany punch bowl presented to Wisconsin's Joseph Bailey in honor of his service during the Civil War. (Museum object #1965.228.1,A) The ingenuity of Wisconsin’s Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Bailey saved a stranded Union fleet during the Red River Campaign in the...
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Posted May 26, 2005



Multi-Purpose Food from Fallout Shelter

Multi-Purpose Food from Cold War fallout shelter in Racine, Wisconsin, 1960. (Museum object #1996.81.81) Paul and Edith Sobel purchased this and several other cans of Multi-Purpose Food (MPF) to help stock the fallout shelter they installed in their new ranch-style...
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Posted April 14, 2005



The "Monster Knife" of John Fox Potter

Giant knife presented to John Fox Potter by Missouri Republicans after Potter's threatened duel with a Virginia congressman, 1860. (Museum object #1957.1122) John Fox Potter was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican from Wisconsin in 1856...
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Posted April 7, 2005



Feather from Old Abe the War Eagle

Eagle feather from Old Abe, the mascot of the 8th Regiment of the Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. (Museum object #1972.59) Twelve-year-old Ida Karne picked up this feather when visiting Old Abe the War Eagle in 1868. Today,...
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Posted February 17, 2005



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