Memorial Day Weekend Concert Information
VNMP is hosting 3 outdoor concerts at the Clay Street Visitor Center, May 24, 25, & 26. The VC parking lot will close at 5:00pm those days and NO on-site parking will be allowed. Click 'More' for detailed parking information. More »
8th Wisconsin Infantry
The 8th Wisconsin , nicknamed "The Eagle Brigade," went to war with an eagle as a mascot. Originally captured by the son of the chief of the Lake Flambeau Tribe of Chippewa Indians on the headwaters of the Chippewa River during the summer of 1861, the young bird was traded for a bushel of corn to a man named Daniel McCann, who then took the 2-month-old eagle to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. A civilian, S. M. Jeffers, purchased the eagle for $2.50, and presented it to Company C of the newly-formed 8th Wisconsin Infantry. James McGinnis was the first of six proud bearers, carrying the eagle on his perch to the left of the colors.
Soon after the Battle of Corinth, someone in the regiment cropped the tail and wing feathers of the bird to prevent his flying away. McClane became disgusted with the treatment inflicted upon the eagle, and resigned his post on 1 November 1862, passing the duty to Edward Homaston of Eau Claire. Homaston, reared in the Green Mountains of Vermont, had watched the flights of eagles daily, and took to the eagle (now nicknamed "Old Abe") with a natural instinct. The friendship between man and bird became very strong as they thoroughly understood each other.
Did You Know?
President Abraham Lincoln, in speaking of Vicksburg's importance, is reputed to have stated early during the Civil War, "See what a lot of land these fellows hold, of which Vicksburg is the key, the war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket."