Calendar of Events

Civil War Meeting and Talk entitled The Iron Brigade of the West in the Corn Field at Antietam

Ongoing Opportunities

  • April 22 at 7 PM

The Iron Brigade, also known as The Black Hats, Black Hat Brigade, Iron Brigade of the West, and originally King's Wisconsin Brigade was an infantry brigade in the Union Army of the Potomac during the American Civil War. Although it fought entirely in the Eastern Theater, it was composed of regiments from three Western states that are now within the region of the Midwest. Noted for its strong discipline, its unique uniform appearance and its tenacious fighting ability, the Iron Brigade suffered the highest percentage of casualties of any brigade in the war. The Iron Brigade was one of the most celebrated military organizations of the American Civil War. Composed originally of the 2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin and 19th Indiana Volunteer Infantry regiments, it was reinforced after Antietam in October 1862 by the 24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry. If you would like to join, please send a request to for connection information. For more information visit

Lance J. Herdegen is the award-winning author of several books and articles on Civil War topics. Among his latest are The Union Soldier in the American Civil War and The Iron Brigade in Civil War and Memory: The Blackhats from Bull Run to Appomattox and Thereafter. A previous book, Those Damned Black Hats: The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign, won the Army Historical Foundation’s Distinguished Writing Award for Battle/Operational history. Herdegen recently served as Chair of the Wisconsin Civil War Sesquicentennial. He is also the former Director of the Institute for Civil War Studies at Carroll University and worked as historical consultant for the Civil War Museum of the Upper Middle West at Kenosha, Wisconsin. Herdegen had a long career as a journalist with the United Press International (UPI) news wire service where he covered civil rights and politics. He was recently inducted into the Milwaukee Press Club Hall of Fame. Some of his other honors include The 2016 Nevins-Freeman Award from the Civil War Round Table of Chicago; The Harry S. Truman Award of the Civil War Round Table of Kansas City; and The Iron Brigade Association Award from The Civil War Round Table of Milwaukee. Herdegen lives in the Town of Spring Prairie, Walworth County, Wisconsin.