United States Regiments & Batteries > Wisconsin

The 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment lost 10 officers and 228 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 77 enlisted men to disease in the Civil War. It is honored by a monument at Gettysburg.

Organized at the Wisconsin Agricultural Society Fairgrounds at Madison, Wisconsin, named Camp Randall after the Governor of Wisconsin.
June 11 Mustered in for three years service under Colonel S. Park Coon, Lt. Colonel Henry W. Peck and Major Duncan McDonald.
June 20 After a speach by Governor Randall the regiment boarded a train for Washington. It was made up of 1,048 men in plain grey uniforms and included a 34 piece regimental band. The regiment was fully equipped except for weapons.
June 20-25 Moved by train to Washington, D.C. via Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburg and Baltimore, met by cheering crowds at every stop, including Baltimore, where crowds cheered the men as they marched between train stations.
June 25 Arrived in Washington. The Second Wisconsin was the first of the Three Years Regiments to reach the capital.
June 27 The officers met with Colonel Coon to request his resignation.
end of June Crossed the Georgetown Aqueduct into Virginia and moved to Fort Corcoran. Attached to Sherman’s Brigade, Tyler’s Division, McDowell’s Army of Northeast Virginia.
July 16-21 Advance on Manassas, Va.
July 17 Occupation of Fairfax Court House
July 18 Action at Blackburn’s Ford
July 21
Battle of Bull Run

General Sherman deemed Colonel Coon unsuitable to command the regiment and appointed him to his staff, leaving Lt. Colonel Peck in command of the regiment during the battle.

July 29 – 30 Colonel Coon and Lt. Colonel Peck resigned. Major McDonald was promoted to lieutenant colonel and assumed command of the regiment.
July-August Duty at Fort Corcoran, Defenses of Washington, D.C.
August Camp at Meridian Hill and duty at Fort Tillinghast and Fort Corcoran, Division of the Potomac.
August 3 Edgar O’Connor was appointed Colonel to command the regiment.
August 9 Lieutenant Colonel McDonald resigned
August 20 Lucius Fairchild was appointed lieutenant colonel.
August 28 Thomas S. Allen was appointed major.
August-October 10 Company K assigned to duty as Heavy Artillery at Forts Corcoran, Marcy and Ethan Allen
September 25 Reconnaissance to Lewinsville, Va.
October Attached to King’s Brigade, McDowell’s Division, Army of the Potomac
December 9 Company K permanently transferred to 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery as Battery A
December 20 New Company K organized
March Attached to 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 1st Army Corps, Army of the Potomac
March 10-16 Advance on Manassas, Va.
March 18-April 23 Advance to Falmouth
April Attached to 3rd Brigade, King’s Division, Dept. of the Rappahannock
April 1 Woodstock
May 25-29 McDowell’s advance on Richmond
June 2-11 Operations against Jackson attached to 4th Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Army Corps, Army of Virginia
July 24-26 Reconnaissance to Orange Court House
August 5-8 Expedition to Frederick’s Hall Station and Spotsylvania Court House
August 5-6 Thornburg’s Mills or Massapona Church
August 16-September 2 Pope’s Campaign in Northern Virginia
August 21-23 Fords of the Rappahannock
August 21 Catlett’s Station
August 28
Battle of Groveton (Brawner’s Farm)

The regiment lost 298 men killed and wounded out of 500 men on the field in a brutal stand-up firefight with the Confederate Stonewall Brigade. Colonel O’Connor was mortally wounded. Major Allen was hit twice but stayed on the field.

The regiment is referenced by a trailside marker on Brawner’s Farm on the Manassas battlefield.

August 29-30
Second Battle of Bull Run
September 1 Battle of Chantilly (Reserve)
September 6-22 Maryland Campaign. Attached to 4th Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Army Corps, Army of the Potomac
September 8 Lt. Colonel Fairchild was promoted to colonel and Major Allen to lieutenant colonel
September 14
Battle of South Mountain
September 16-17
Battle of Antietam

The brigade was the spearhead of Hooker’s early morning attack down the Hagerstown Pike.Captain Colwell of Company B was killed while commanding the skirmish line and Lieutenant Colonel Allen was wounded.

From the marker for Gibbon’s Brigade on the Antietam battlefield:

On the morning of the 17th, with its right on the Hagerstown Pike, Gibbon’s Brigade, which three days before had earned the title of the “Iron Brigade”, advanced in the direction of the Dunkard Church. When 135 yards north of this point Confederates, deployed under cover of the ledge and woods west of the pike attacked the flank, upon which the 19th Indiana and 7th Wisconsin were deployed on the plateau and in the woods west of the pike and the 2nd and 6th Wisconsin in the infamous Cornfield east of it. Battery B, 4th U. S. Artillery, went into position west of the pike and a few yards south of Miller’s barn. Supported by Patrick’s Brigade and the Battery on the right and Phelps’ Brigade on the left, Gibbon’s Brigade advanced to and south of this point but was forced back. Charge and countercharge of the most deadly character were made across the open plateau west of and in the Cornfield and ground south of it, east of the pike, and the Iron Brigade was compelled to retire to the field north of D. R. Miller’s and then to the cover of the high ground north and east of Joseph Poffenberger’s.

September-October At Sharpsburg, Md
October 30-
November 22
Advance to Falmouth, Va.
December 12-15
Battle of Fredericksburg
January 14 Lt. Colonel Allen was transferred to become colonel of the 5th Wisconsin Infantry. Major Stevens was promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain John Mansfield of Company G promoted to major.
January 20-24 “Mud March”
February-April At Belle Plains
February 2
March 25-29 Expedition from Belle Plains into Westmoreland County
April 27-May 6 Chancellorsville Campaign
April 29-May 2 Operations at Pollock’s Mill Creek
April 29-30 Fitzhugh’s Crossing
May 2-5
Battle of Chancellorsville
May 20-26 Operations on Northern Neck
June Attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Army Corps
June 9
Battle of Brandy Station

Two companies were temporarily attached to the 7th Wisconsin Infantry and were part of one of the composite infantry brigades that took part in the battle.

June 11-July 24 Gettysburg Campaign
July 1-3
Battle of Gettysburg

The regiment was commanded at Gettysburg by Colonel Lucius Fairchild, who was wounded on July 1st, losing his arm but surviving to become Governor of Wisconsin. Lieutenant Colonel Stevens had been killed moments before Fairchild was wounded, so Major John Mansfield briefly took command of the regiment until he, too, was wounded. Captain George H. Otis then took command.

From the monument on the Gettysburg battlefield:

Iron Brigade, July 1st 1863. 2nd Reg. Wis. Vol. Inf., 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Corps. Position July 2 & 3 on Culp’s Hill. Effective strength July 1st 1863, 302. Killed 26. Wounded 155. Missing 52. Aggregate 233.

July 5-24 Pursuit of Lee to Manassas Gap, Va.
August-October Duty on line of the Rappahannock and Rapidan
August 13 Major Mansfield was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
October 9-22 Bristoe Campaign
October 19 Haymarket
October 20 Colonel Fairchild was promoted to brigadier general. He would shortly resign his commission due to his Gettyburg wound.
November 7-8 Advance to line of the Rappahannock
November 26-December 2 Mine Run Campaign
February 9 Lieutenant Colonel Mansfield was promoted to colonel.
March Attached to 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 5th Army Corps
May 3-June 15 Campaign from the Rapidan to the James River
May 5-7
Battle of the Wilderness

Colonel Mansfield and Major Parsons were badly wounded.

May 8 Battle of Laurel Hill
May 8-21
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
May 11 Reduced to less than 100 men, the 2nd was detached from the Brigade and assigned to duty as Provost Guard of the 4th Division, 5th Army Corps
May 12 Assault on the Salient
May 23-26 North Anna River
May 25 Major Parsons was promoted to lieutenant colonel. Captain George H. Otis was promoted to major.
May 26-28 On line of the Pamunkey
May 28-31 Totopotomoy
June 1-12
Battle of Cold Harbor
June 11 The regiment’s three year term of service was over. Non-Veterans were ordered to Madison, Wisconsin to muster out under Major Otis. Veterans and Recruits were consolidated to a battalion of two companies under Captain Dennis B. Daily of Company B known as the Independent Battalion Wisconsin Volunteers.
June 16-18
 First Assault on Petersburg

Siege of Petersburg begins

July 2 Non-Veterans were mustered out at Madison, Wisconsin.
August 18-21
Weldon Railroad

Attached to 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Army Corps

September Attached to 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Army Corps
October 27-28
Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher’s Run
November 30 Battalion consolidated with 6th Wisconsin Infantry as Companies G and H