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Reading Book guide

A History of the 4th Wisconsin Infantry and Cavalry in the Civil War, by Michael J. Martin

A History of the 4th Wisconsin 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. We hope these thought-provoking questions lead to some lively book discussions.

  1. The 4th Wisconsin Infantry's first action was against the citizens of Milwaukee. What caused a large portion of this city's German populace to riot in 1861?
  2. Which famous cavalry commander did the 4th Wisconsin serve under during 1863 and why was the regiment's opinion of his leadership so low?
  3. Why did the Badgers in the 4th Wisconsin Infantry prefer Major General Benjamin Butler to Major General Nathanial Banks as commander of the Department of the Gulf?
  4. What was Major General Edward Canby's opinion of Earl's Scouts?
  5. Why was the 4th Wisconsin Infantry converted to cavalry in September 1863? How did the Badgers feel about their change to cavalry?
  6. Why did General Banks' two assaults on the Confederate fortifications at Port Hudson fail?
  7. Why did so many 4th Wisconsin veterans have successful political careers following the war, e.g. three became state governors and one a state senator?
  8. Why did the 4th Wisconsin meet with little fanfare upon its return to Madison, Wisconsin, in June 1866?
  9. The posting of various companies of the 4th Wisconsin Cavalry along the Rio Grande River in 1865-1866 to guard against incursions by Emperor Maximilian's Contra-Guerrillas is reminiscent of what action being taken today along the very same river?