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On This Day: October 3

1862 - 17th Wisconsin Infantry Fights at Corinth

On this date at Corinth, the 17th Wisconsin Infantry, also known as the Irish Brigade, led a bayonet charge with the Gaelic battle cry "Faugh a ballagh!" or "Clear the Way." The 17th Wisconsin Infantry unit also participated in the Atlanta campaign and the March to the Sea during the Civil War, and was disbanded at the end of the war. [Source: Bishops to Bootleggers: A Biographical Guide to Resurrection Cemetery, p.94]

1862 - (Civil War) Second Battle of Corinth, Mississippi, Begins

The Second Battle of Corinth began when Confederate forces attempted to retake Corinth, Mississippi. The 8th, 14th, 16th, 17th and 18th Wisconsin Infantry regiments, along with the 6th and 12th Wisconsin Light Artillery batteries, fought to protect the city from Confederate troops. The brigade commander recalled that, "I had the 8th Wisconsin, big burly fellows, who could march a mule off its feet, and who proved at Corinth... that they could fight as well as march." At one point, musket fire coming at the 8th Wisconsin Infantry cut the tether holding Old Abe the Eagle on his perch.  He soared high above the lines as the battle raged beneath him.

1936 - John William Heisman Dies

On this date John William Heisman died in New York City but was buried Rhinelander, Wisconsin. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 23, 1869. He coached football for 36 years, most memorably at Auburn (1895-1899), Georgia Tech (1904-1919), and Rice (1924-1927). While at Georgia Tech, Heisman produced undefeated teams from 1915 to 1917 and coached a squad that was victorious in the record setting 222-0 match with Cumberland in 1916. An innovator within the sport, he invented plays and advocated the legalization of the forward pass. Throughout his coaching career, Heisman coached at 9 colleges from 1892-1927; won 185 games; and served as Director of Athletics at Downtown Athletic Club in New York City (1928-36). The Heisman Trophy, presented annually since 1935 by that club to the most outstanding college football player in the nation, is named in his memory. [Source: New York Times--On This Day]

1938 - Congressman David Obey Born

After graduating from Wausau High School, Obey earned his B.S. and M.A. degress in political science in 1960 and 1962 from the Univ. of Wisconsin. He then became active in local businesses and a member of the Administrative Committee of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, 1960-62. He was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 1962, 1964, 1966 and 1968 where he served as assistant minority leader in the 1967 and 1969 sessions. First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on April 1, 1969 (to fill the unexpired term of Melvin Laird), Obey has gone on to hold a wide variety of committee appointments and chairs, including chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. He also plays the harmonica in a bluegrass band, "The Capitol Offenses," which has recorded three albums. [Source: Wisconsin Blue Book; Rep. Obey's Web site]