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A History of the 4th Wisconsin Infantry and Cavalry in the American Civil War [Hardcover]

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Item description for A History of the 4th Wisconsin Infantry and Cavalry in the American Civil War by M.D. Michael J. Martin...

Michael J. Martin's A History of the 4th Wisconsin Infantry and Cavalry in the Civil War is a deeply researched and vividly written study of an unheralded Federal combat regiment. Few of the thousands of regiments raised to fight the American Civil War experienced the remarkably diverse history of this little-known organization.

The Wisconsin "Badgers" began the war as foot soldiers in the summer of 1861 as the 4th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. After service in Maryland guarding railroads, the men sailed to the Gulf of Mexico to join Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler's expedition to capture the South's most important city: New Orleans. From August 1862 to July 1863, the 4th Wisconsin participated as infantry or mounted infantry in a series of bloody battles in Louisiana, including Baton Rouge, Bisland, the siege of Port Hudson, and Clinton. With a desperate need for mounted troops, the Badgers were officially changed to cavalry in September 1863 and became the 4th Wisconsin Cavalry. As troopers, they took part in four mounted expeditions across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, serving under such notable generals as Albert Lee, John Davidson, and Benjamin Grierson.

The Confederate armies surrendered in the spring of 1865, but the 4th Wisconsin Cavalry joined Maj. Gen. Wesley Merritt's cavalry division that July on its ride from Louisiana into Texas, where the regiment was broken up and deployed in various outposts along the Rio Grande River. On May 28, 1866, Wisconsin's last regiment of Civil War volunteers was finally mustered out at Brownsville, Texas. Unfortunately, many of the men would not be going home: 431 had lost their lives to enemy bullets and disease.

Eight years in the making, Martin's regimental history is based upon scores of previously unused soldier and civilian diaries, letters, reports, contemporary newspapers, and reminiscences. It includes dozens of previously unpublished soldier photos, and a complete roster. Martin's study is a must-have addition for every serious Civil War reader.About the Author: A descendant of a Civil War soldier who was wounded at the Wheatfield at Gettysburg, Michael James Martin grew up in Mequon, Wisconsin, and received both an MS and a Ph.D. in Animal science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is the author of several published articles on the Civil War. This is his first book.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   570
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   2.05 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Publisher   Savas Beatie
ISBN  1932714189  
ISBN13  9781932714180  

Availability  0 units.

More About M.D. Michael J. Martin

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Michael Martin is Professor of Philosophy at Boston University and author of several books, including The Legal Philosophy of H.L.A. Hart: A Critical Appraisal and The Case Against Christianity (both from Temple).

Michael Martin was born in 1932.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > History > United States
2Books > Subjects > History > Americas > General
3Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > Civil War > General
4Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > State & Local - By State > Wisconsin
5Books > Subjects > History > Military > General
6Books > Subjects > History > Military > United States > General

Reviews - What do customers think about A History of the 4th Wisconsin Infantry and Cavalry in the American Civil War?

The Civil War in a Minor Battle Area - Unless You Were There  Nov 7, 2006
As a Louisiana native I don't usually get very interested in the history of Yankee regiments. This one, however, I'll recommend. The 4th Wisconsin spent a good bit of its time in Louisiana.

I found myself fasinated by their story:

They report for instance that they were camped in early April in Algiers (across the river from and now a part of New Orleans). The weather was warm and 'beautiful' - just like June at home. These guys were from Wisonsin. Can you imagine what the next few months brought them? August in the swamps of South Louisiana are not at all like Wisconsin - And they were wearing wool uniforms.

From Algiers they went and encamped '3 and one half miles east of Brashear City.' That's now Morgan City (where I was born) and that is truly miserable country - wet, swamp, snakes, alligators, mosquitoes - yuk! They then crossed 'Berwick's Bay' (Atchaflaya river), continued westward and then started fighting the Confederates.

The country down there is bad enough, and then to have people shooting at you....

Although this book is on the actions of the 4th Wisconsin, I recommend it to anyone interested in the fighting in the Trans-Mississippi theater, and especially the fighting in Louisiana.
Highly recommended.  Oct 4, 2006
Eight years in the making, A History Of The 4th Wisconsin Infantry And Cavalry In The Civil War is an exhaustively researched, highly readable chronicle drawing upon numerous previously unused soldier and civilian diaries, letters, reports, contemporary newspapers, and reminiscences. Dozens of previously unpublished soldier photos, a complete regimental roster, and an index enhance this minutely detailed chronicle. A History Of The 4th Wisconsin Infantry And Cavalry In The Civil War focuses on individuals and the points of view of the men who laid their lives on the line as surely as the overall flow of history. Highly recommended.
The 4th Wisconsin gets its due . . .  Sep 24, 2006
I thoroughly enjoyed "A History of the 4th Wisconsin Infantry and Cavalry in the Civil War." Until now the 4th Wisconsin Cavalry and its contributions to the Federal effort during and after the Civil War had all but been forgotten. Thanks to some hard work and a knack for ferreting out information from unlikely places, we now have a good understanding of just what this group of Badgers went through and accomplished in the Trans-Mississippi Theater. Martin covers the regiment from top to bottom . . . from its formation at Camp Utley in Racine, Wisconsin, to its mustering out at Brownsville, Texas, in May 1866. This is one of the few Federal units that fought as infantry, mounted infantry and, following its official redesignation in September 1863, cavalry. As a result, these Badgers were everywhere: the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland, Louisiana: New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Port Hudson; Mississippi: Vicksburg, Brookhaven, Osyka, Liberty, West Pascagoula; Alabama: Greensville, Eufala, Clinton; Texas: San Antonio, Laredo, Rio Grande City, Las Cuevas, Santa Maria, Brownsville. In addition to a plethora of diary material, the book is filled with letters and exerpts from letters that were published in one of the state's major, Milwaukee Sentinel, and many local newspapers. The book contains a superb recounting of the regiment's first major engagement at Bisland, Louisiana, its decimation (it sufferered 64% casualties, the largest of any regiment in the Corps) during the Port Hudson Campaign, its fight at Clinton, Louisiana, under Benjamin Grierson (who did not have one of his better days during that contest) and its participation as cavalry in three major raids through Mississippi and Alabama. With the aid of diaries written by an officer in the 11th New York Cavalry and three 4th Wisconsin troopers, this book contains the first complete day-by-day recounting of Major General John Wynn Davidson's 300 mile-plus raid from Baton Rouge to West Pascagoula. As a bonus, the first complete history of "Canby's Special Scouts" also known as "Earl's Scouts" is also included. This group of individuals was led by Company D's Lieutenant Isaac Earl and was comprised almost exclusively of individuals from the 4th Wisconsin Cavalry. The "corps" of scouts, which was initially created by Major General Nathanial Banks, was inherited and expanded by his predecessor, Major General Edward R.S. Canby. Earl's Scouts operated out of Natchez, Mississippi, and were responsible for clandestinely obtaining information on Confederate activities in an area stretching from Bruinsburg and St. Joseph to Fayette, Mississippi. With the aid of his pocket steamer, Colonel Cowles, Earl and his command occasionally scouted as far as DeWitt, Arkansas. Though a history of a "Yankee" regiment, the author has no difficulty giving the Confederate forces their due. Martin lauds not only the Confederates that faced, and easily repulsed, the Badgers during their assaults on the Priest Cap at Port Hudson but also Colonel John Logan and his command's performance at the first battle of Clinton, where Colonel Grierson was soundly thrashed. Rounding out this excellent book is an extremely interesting group of 4th Wisconsin soldier post-war biographies, a complete regimental roster, appendices that list casualties that the regiment suffered during its two assaults on Port Hudson and a listing of 4th Wisconsin soldiers that are interred in the National Cemetery at Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
A great regimental history  Sep 22, 2006
I have heard of any number of regiments of volunteers who enlisted in a cavalry or an artillery unit, and who were then informed that they would be marching rather than riding. Infantry was what everyone became as the Civil War ate up soldiers in the front lines. Thus it was that I was very surprised to learn of a unit of infantry that had the very good fortune of being given mounts to ride half way through the war. For the first two years they were the 4th Wisconsin Infantry, but for the second two years these same men served as the 4th Wisconsin Cavalry. Perhaps it was that lucky break that encouraged them to reenlist, and, according to the author, serve longer than any other unit. (They didn't- that honor probably belongs to the Bloody 11th Pennsylvania, but why nitpick?)
I really love this book. Other than the very attractive dust jacket and the acid-free paper, this book has the look and feel of the best regimental histories produced a century ago by the survivors themselves, such as Bosbyshell's History of the 48th Pennsylvania, or Rawle's History of the 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry. Pictures of all of the principal players appear throughout the text. Maps pop up where they need to be, and many are needed to cover the exploits of this outfit that saw action in such scattered locales as Baltimore, New Orleans, Montgomery and Texas.
The author's exhaustive research provides much in the way of first-hand commentary and storytelling that you would find in an original regimental. But the fact that he has such a broad understanding of the unit and its men allows him to tell their tale with far more understanding than anyone could have had one of the veterans undertaken such a job a century or more ago. As is pointed out in Lance Herdegren's thoughtful introduction, this unit saw significant service, and it had a nearly unique tour of duty, caused in great part by its conversion from infantry to cavalry. Serving with it were a cast of fascinating characters, including three future governors of the Badger State and the creator of "Peck's Bad Boy." Reading this book will take you to Civil War sites you have never been to before, no matter how avid a student of the period you have been.
One of the best regimental histories I've ever read.  Sep 1, 2006
This book was a great read. I loved the diary excerpts along with the letters of condolence to the families.

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