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On This Day: February 21

1862 - (Civil War) The 15th Wisconsin Infantry Formed

The roster of Wisconsin's first Scandinavian Regiment was announced. This was the 15th Wisconsin Infantry, which went on to fight in the battles of Perryville, Stones River, Orchard Knob, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Chickamauga, Resaca, and Kennesaw Mountain. Ninety-four of its members would die from combat and another 242 from disease.

1918 - Denunciation of LaFollette rejected by Assembly

On this day, a move to denounce Sen. Robert LaFollette and the nine Wisconsin congressmen who refused to support World War I failed in the State Assembly, by a vote of 76-15. Calling LaFollette "disloyal," the amendment's originator, Democrat John F. Donnelly, insisted that LaFollette's position did not reflect "the sentiment of the people of Wisconsin. We should not lack the courage to condemn his actions." Reflecting the majority opinion, Assemblyman Charles F. Hart retorted that "The Wisconsin State Legislature went on record by passing a resolution telling the President that the people of this state did not want war. Now we are condemning them for doing that which we asked them to do." [Source: Capital Times 2/21/1918, p.1]