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On This Day: February 16

1808 - Lysander Cutler Born

On this date Lysander Cutler was born in Worcester County, Mass. Cutler moved to Milwaukee in 1856. In July, 1861, he was commissioned Colonel of the 6th Wisconsin Infantry. He was appointed Brigadier General in November, 1862, and Major General in August, 1864. He participated in the battles of Gainesville, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and in the Wilderness campaign. He was wounded at Gainesville, Frederickburg, and Weldon Road.

1865 - (Civil War) Skirmish at Columbia, South Carolina

The 12th Wisconsin Light Artillery fought a skirmish in Columbia, South Carolina.

1943 - Mildred Harnack Guillotined in Berlin

On this date Mildred Harnack was guillotined in Berlin, Germany. Harnack was born in Milwaukee and studied and lectured at the University of Wisconsin. She and her husband, Arvid Harnack, were key members of a German resistance group which assisted German Jews and political dissidents, circulated illegal literature, met secretly with prisoners of war, and worked to document Nazi atrocities in Europe. Known by the Nazis as the "Red Orchestra," Harnack's companions were arrested, tortured, and tried for their activities. Mildred Harnack was guillotined in Berlin on the personal orders of Adolf Hitler. [Source: UW - Madison Archives and Records Management Services]