Brief history of the “Oshkosh Volunteers”

and Second Wisconsin


Formed in April and May of 1861, the “Oshkosh Volunteers” were men from logging camps, farms and towns in Northeastern Wisconsin. These men came together in Oshkosh to organize a company that would later join others from around the state to form the 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Before becoming the first regiment in Washington D.C. to enlist for three years, the men of the 2nd were drilled and trained at Camp Randall in Madison. They went on to distinguish themselves as determined fighters at Bull Run. Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and the Wilderness, and earned the name of “Iron Brigade”; along with the 6th and 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana, and 24th Michigan Regiments. Because of their devotion to the preservation of the Union of the United States, the 2nd Wisconsin sustained the highest percentage of casualties in battle; more than any other unit in the history of the United States Army.