April 13th marked the 150th anniversary of the attack on Fort Sumter and the start of the American Civil War. A state commission set up to commemorate and educate the public on the Civil War held its first events this week in Madison.
Commission chairman Lance Herdegen says the growing literacy of the American people, the new technologies of photography and the telegraph and the burgeoning newspaper industry has given us an outstanding record of the people of that time.
The commission has relied on resources such as the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison and the Oshkosh Public Library to create a website called “CivilWarWisconsin.com” and Herdegen says they are asking families to share any Civil War materials they have found.
The Civil War changed the way that wars were fought…moving from sailing ships to steam-powered iron clads…and from flintlock muskets to automatic weapons.
Herdengen is the author of “Those Damned Black Hats” and is completing another history of the Wisconsin “Iron Brigade”.