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Regimental History
1862 - 1865

The Twenty-Eighth Regiment was recruited principally from Waukesha and Walworth Counties during the summer of 1862. Most of the soldiers were sons of the area's Irish, German and English immigrants. Many soldiers were themselves immigrants, residing in the U.S. only a matter of years. The common threads which motivated them to enlist were a sense of duty, and desire to keep the Union intact.

The accompanying list is an unofficial summary of the 28th Regiment's service.

  • Mustered in to United States service at Camp Washburn, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 13 October 1862.

  • Sent to Port Washington, Wisconsin, November 12, 1862, to assist local draft commissioner in arresting draft rioters.

  • Left Wisconsin for Columbus, Kentucky, 21 December 1862. Engaged in guard duty and erection of fortifications at Columbus.

  • Moved to Helena, Arkansas, 5 January 1863.

  • Attached to 2nd Brigade, 13th Division, 13th Army Corps.

  • Expedition up White River, Arkansas, 11-23 January 1863. The Twenty-eighth was left at St. Charles, Arkansas with a small number of cavalry and artillery, while the remainder of the expedition continued to DuVall's Bluff. A number of buildings in St. Charles were burned during this time; the Twenty-eighth was accused but proven innocent.

  • Yazoo Pass Expedition and operations against Fort Pemberton and Greenwood, 24 February to 5 April 1863. After a bombardment by naval gunboats, the 28th Wisconsin and 46th Indiana were to storm the Fort. The bombardment was unsuccessful and the expedition pulled back. The Twenty-eighth was sent to McNutt, Mississippi, to disperse a force of enemy cavalry, while the remainder of the expedition conducted a second unsuccesful attack on the Fort.

  • Garrison duty at Helena, Arkansas until August 1863.

  • Lt. Col. Whittaker resigns on 28 May, 1863. Major Gray was promoted to Lt. Col. by Governor Salomon, who was with the troops at that time, and Capt. C.C. White promoted to Major.

  • Repulse of Holmes' attack on Helena 4 July 1863. About 3,500 Union troops held a force of 15,000 at bay. The 28th Wisconsin occupied the rifle pits in defense of Artillery Battery B at Fort Curtiss. Recommended for gallantry at the Battle of Helena: 1st Lt. David Turner, Co. G; 2nd Lt. Charles Slawson, Co. B; and Sgt. Major Albert Kendrick.

  • Transferred to the Army of Arkansas.

  • Steele's Expedition against Little Rock, Arkansas, 11 August to 10 September 1863. Duty at Little Rock until 26 October 1863.

  • Pursuit of Marmaduke's forces to Rockport, 26 October to 1 November 1863.

  • Detached from Second Brigade and moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, 10 November 1863. Picket and garrison duty there until 30 November 1864.

  • Lt. Col. Gray commissioned Colonel of the regiment; Major C.C. White commissioned Lt. Col.; and Capt. J.A. Williams, Major, 16 March 1864.

  • Expedition by Companies A, D, F, G, H, and I under Capt. Smith to destroy pontoon bridge on the Saline River at Longview, 27 March 1864. Action at Mt. Elba, 28 and 30 March 1864, while guarding bridge. 320 prisoners taken.

  • Returned to Little Rock, Arkansas on 2 December 1864.

  • Expedition to Mt. Elba under the command of Brigadier General Carr, 22 January 1865.

  • Departed Little Rock on 11 February 1865. Arrived at Mobile Point, Alabama 25 February 1865.

  • Participated in the siege of Spanish Fort at Mobile, 27 March to 8 April 1865.

  • Occupation of McIntosh's Bluff on the Tombigbee River, in Alabama until Taylor's forces surrender. Depart McIntosh's Bluff on 9 May 1865.

  • Duty at Mobile, Alabama until 31 May 1865.

  • Arrive at Brazos Santiago, Texas, 6 June 1865. Garrison and picket duty at Clarksville until 3 August 1865.

  • Mustered out of service at Brownsville, Texas, 23 August 1865.

  • Disbanded at Madison, Wisconsin, 23 September 1865.

REGIMENTAL STATISTICS: Original strength, 961. Gain, by recruits in 1863, 2; in 1864, 125; in 1865, 17; substitutes, 32; total, 1,137. Loss, by death, 231; desertion, 31; discharge, 221; muster-out, 573.