Yesterday was the 150th Anniversary of the start of the Civil War. We've been tweeting Civil War related images all day and though it would be nice to highlight one collection in particular, the Wisconsin Goes to War: Our Civil War Experience collection.
Wisconsin Goes to War is filled with first person stories and narratives from Wisconsin soldiers and citizens. The collection includes poems, letters, diaries and other written records that help us understand Wisconsin's part in the Civil War and how it effected us at home.
Many of these items are hand written and were chosen based on subject matter and legibility. Many of them also include a typed transcription to help with research.
In the collection is a poem written by Jules Francois in March 1862 while in Camp Utly at Racine, Wisconsin. Here is an excerpt from the poem:
We come from the valleys of the young Badger State, Where the prairies are so grand, so magnificent and great. We have rallied round the banner of the brave and the free, Around our own starry banner in Dillion's battery.
The rest of the poem can be read in the collections. When you have time, take a look at some of the letters, they can help you get a real sense of Wisconsin's part in the Civil War.