The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) has announced the creation of the Wisconsin Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission “to honor the legacy, service and sacrifice of Wisconsin’s citizen-soldiers.” Wisconsin joins several other states that have formed similar commissions to coordinate activities to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The sesquicentennial commemoration will run from 2011 through 2015. In the August 5th press release, WDVA Secretary Kenneth B. Black said “We look forward to commemorating the Civil War, honoring its veterans and their descendents, and highlighting Wisconsin’s role in shaping our nation’s history”. Wisconsin sent over 91,000 men to the conflict, and over 12,200 died, including nearly 3800 killed or mortally wounded.
The Wisconsin Veterans Museum, a part of the WDVA, will be coordinating the state’s efforts. The Veterans Museum is Wisconsin’s official military history museum and is dedicated to honoring Wisconsin’s contributions in all wars. The museum will work with historical societies, veterans organizations, civic groups, and other government agencies in commemoration and educational programs.
Lance Herdegen, a Civil War historian and author who has written or co-written many books about the Iron Brigade, was named chairman of the commission. His latest book is entitled “Those Damned Black Hats! The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign.”
Click this link for a website that lists Civil War Sesquicentennial events and state commissions from all over the country.
Update January 31, 2011: For the latest on Wisconsin Civil War Sesquicentennial events, see the Wisconsin Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission’s website.