The Twenty-eighth Regiment was recruited during the summer of 1862 in Waukesha and Walworth Counties, Wisconsin, and was organized at Camp Washburn, Milwaukee, under the command of Colonel James M. Lewis of Oconomowoc. Ten companies of a bit less than 100 men each had responded to President Lincoln's second call for volunteers. Six companies were recruited from Waukesha County and four raised in nearby Walworth County. Many companies carried their own descriptive names, such as the Lewis Guards (Co. A), Waukesha Minute Men (Co. B), Whittaker Guards (Co. C), Whitewater Co. No. 3 (Co. D), Federal Guards (Co. E) and Badger Guards (Co. F).
The 28th Regiment was mustered into United States service on 13 October 1862. They spent the next nine weeks training at Camp Washburn, near Milwaukee, before boarding railcars and heading south on December 20, 1862.
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