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On This Day: January 2

1863 - (Civil War) Final day of Battle of Stones River, Tennessee

This was the final day of the Battle of Stones River, near Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The 1st, 10th, 15th, 21st and 24th Wisconsin Infantry regiments and 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 10th Wisconsin Light Artillery batteries participated. The 21st was in the forefront all three days. The 24th lost nearly 40 percent of its men and almost all its officers. The two sides had traded control for three days until they both withdrew and the Union took possession of the field. The rich farmland meant to feed the Confederates now supplied the Union.

1900 - Fond du Lac Team Reigns

On this date Fond du Lac's Company E basketball team declared itself U.S champions after clinching a three-game series against Yale University. The Company E team won the second championship game, 27-6. [Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

1918 - Wisconsin Troops Depart for Europe

On this date the Wisconsin 127th and 128th Infantries departed for France from their training facility at Camp Arthur in Waco, Texas. Initially, these divisions were assigned to construct depots and facilities for troops that would follow. On May 18, they were assigned to the frontline at Belmont in the Alsace where they faced three German divisions. In the following months, 368 troops were killed, wounded or missing. Ironically, their enemy, native Alsatians, spoke German and the Wisconsin troops were better able to communicate with them than their French allies.

1953 - First Female Police Officer

On this date Mrs. Arnold Schmidt became the Janesville Police Department's first female employee. A former secretary with the Rock County District Attorney's Office, Schmidt served as records clerk, freeing a male officer for patrol work. On June 7, 1921, Margaret Kavanaugh became the city's first female police officer, but her job was discontinued after a few months, leaving the department an all-male bastion until 1953. [Source: Janesvill Gazette]

1957 - Teen Girls Burgle American Legion Hall

On this date Rock County deputies were shocked to discover that three local girls perpetrated a burglary at the American Legion Hall in Milton Junction. The girls stole 10 cases of beer, a bottle of vodka and $2.95 in change for a New Year's party they planned to have at the home of the 17-year-old, whose parents were away. The girls' parents were "shocked and unbelieving." The authorities' surprise was not at the age of the criminals but their gender. [Source: Janesville Gazette]