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On This Day: October 26

1818 - First Counties in Wisconsin Declared

On this date Lewis Cass, governor of the Michigan Territory, declared the first counties in Wisconsin. The counties included Michilimackinac (all areas drained by Lake Superior tributaries), Brown, and Crawford counties, which were separated through Portage. Michilimackinac County is now part of the state of Michigan. Governor Cass later became the Secretary of War under President Andrew Jackson, as well as the Minister to France and a Michigan Senator. Cass, a Democrat, also ran for president in 1848, but lost to Whig Zachary Taylor due to factions within the Democratic Party and the formation of the Free Soil Party. [Source: Historic Elmwood Cemetery and Foundation]

1861 - (Civil War) 9th Wisconsin Infantry Mustered In

The 9th Wisconsin Infantry mustered in. It would march to Fort Scott, Kansas, and then move through Missouri and Arkansas. It would fight in the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas. The regiment would lose 191 men during its service. Seventy-seven enlisted men were killed and 114 enlisted men died from disease.

1863 - African-American Soldiers Recruited

On this date Wisconsin Governor Edward Salomon received authority from the War Department to raise a regiment of African-American soldiers from Wisconsin. Colonel John A. Bross of Chicago sent African-American recruiting agents from Chicago into Wisconsin and succeeded in enlisting about 250 African-American soldiers. The 29th U.S. Colored Troops were eventually organized at Quincy, Illinois in April 1864.