Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wisconsin Soldiers at Antietam Creek

Kate recently had the opportunity to visit the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison. Not a huge museum, it’s easily viewed in an hour if you’re only mildly interested in military history, but real aficionados will likely spend much more time.

The displays include photos, weapons, and everyday items used by Wisconsin soldiers starting with the Civil War, including a piece of hard tack that escaped being eaten 150 years ago!

Among the tidbits of historical information Kate learned was that the father of General Douglas “I shall return” MacArthur was living in Wisconsin when the Civil War began. Arthur MacArthur, Jr. immediately joined the 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment. His leadership in battle earned him the nickname of The Boy Colonel.

The museum is well laid out with dramatic life-sized scenes from various conflicts. Particularly interesting is that every single mannequin has a unique face. When asked, the gentleman at the front desk revealed that volunteers were used to create life masks to provide the faces and create these memorable tableaus.

No fee is charged, but donations are accepted. The Veterans Museum is directly across the street from the capitol building and kitty-corner to the Historical Museum, a full day of thrills for the true history buff!

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