An iron collar removed from a fugitive slave by Wisconsin soldiers in 1862
Fugitive Slave Collar
In early June 1862, the 4th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry occupied Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Wearing the iron collar placed around his neck as punishment, a slave named Old Steve escaped from his owner and fled to the camp of the 4th Wisconsin. Wisconsin soldiers removed his iron collar by filing off one of the rivets that held it closed. The collar Old Steve wore into the 4th Wisconsin's camp was sent back to Wisconsin with other war relics and later became part of the collection of the Wisconsin Historical Society. A memoir of the event and of Old Steve by John T. Perry, one of soldiers involved, is also available in Turning Points. There is a Lesson Plan based in part on this artifact.