4th Wisconsin Infantry History | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

4th Wisconsin Infantry History

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

4th Wisconsin Infantry History | Wisconsin Historical Society
EnlargeHalbert E. Paine

Halbert E. Paine

Engraved portrait of Brigadier General Halbert Eleazer Paine. View the original source document: WHI 43557

The 4th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Utley in Racine and mustered into service on July 9, 1861. It left Wisconsin for Baltimore, Maryland, July 15-22, 1861. During its service it moved through Maryland, Virginia, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

It participated in the occupation of New Orleans and the battle of Baton Rouge, and led the first assault on Port Hudson. Its colonel, Halbert Paine, was disciplined for refusing to return escaping slaves to their owners and refused to burn the city of Baton Rouge when ordered to. The 4th Infantry was officially changed to a regiment of mounted cavalry on September 1, 1863.

As the 4th Wisconsin Cavalry it participated in the Mobile campaign before returning to Madison, where it was discharged from active military service on June 19, 1866. The regiment lost 431 men during service. Eleven officers and 106 enlisted men were killed. Three officers and 311 enlisted men died from disease.

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