The Sixteenth Wisconsin Infantry Regiment was organized at Camp Randall, Madison, Wisconsin, and its muster into the service of the United States was completed on the 31st of January 1862. The Sixteenth left the state March 13 for Pittsburg Landing, TN, which was reached on March 20. It disembarked and went into camp.
On the 6th and 7th of April it participated in the Battle of Shiloh, being one of the first regiments to be attacked. The regiment lost six colorbearers as it tried to hold the line against the Confederate attack. Later the Sixteenth took part in the siege of Corinth, MS, April 29-June 10, 1862, and in the battle of Corinth, October 3-4, 1862. It was a part of the Union forces gathered at Grand Junction, TN for the advance on Vicksburg, MS. In the latter part of January the Sixteenth embarked at Memphis and moved down the river to Lake Providence, LA, where a landing was made February 1, 1863. From that place and Red Bone Church, MS, the Sixteenth was engaged in guard duty and minor expeditions until February 1864, when it returned to Vicksburg.
On the 8th of June 1864, the regiment joined Sherman's army near Acworth, GA, and moved to the front where it took part in the movements of the Army of the Tennessee until the surrender of Atlanta. It participated in the battles of Atlanta, GA, July 21, 1864; Jonesborough, GA, September 1, 1864; Lovejoy Station, GA, September 2, 1864. On November 15, 1864 it accompanied Sherman's Army on the "March to the Sea" entering Savannah, GA, December 21, 1864. In the early part of January, with the Army of the Tennessee to which it belonged, it started on the campaign in the Carolinas and took part therein until the surrender of Johnston, April 26, 1865. It participated actively in many of the minor engagements of that campaign and in the battle of Bentonville, NC, March 19-21, 1865.
After the surrender of Johnston the Sixteenth marched to Washington and participated in the Grand Review and thereafter went into camp near that city. Here a small portion of the men whose terms had expired were mustered out and the regiment was transferred to Louisville, KY, where it remained until mustered out July 12-returning to Madison, WI, and was disbanded August 1, 1865.