Today's image is titled Civil War and was photographed by Lane Mayer.
Memorial Day has its origins in the American Civil War, the final culmination of numerous local and regional observances of and recognitions for soldiers killed during the conflict that was originally known as Decoration Day. This particular photo focuses upon the a single grave marker in a Stoughton cemetery of a Civil War veteran named Christian Johnson. A private in Company I of the 42nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Johnson was one of numerous immigrants to serve in the Union Army, many of whom in the Midwest were originally from Norway.
More details about this particular soldier are available in a Civil War database maintained by the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa. A resident of Kane County, Illinois, Christian Johnson was a a 33-year-old sailor who served through the bulk of the war. Enlisting in Chicago on August 24, 1861, and mustered from Camp Douglas in that city, he served for more than two years before reenlisting on January 1, 1864. He was not killed during the war, though, and survived through its end before being mustered out of the army at Camp Irwin on December 16, 1865 in Texas. The 42nd Illinois saw heavy action in the Western Theatre of the war, joining in the Battle of Island Number Ten on the Mississippi River, the Siege of Corinth, the Battle of Stones River, the Battle of Chickamauga, the Atlanta Campaign, and the Battle of Nashville, among other engagements. A total of 387 men in the regiment were killed or died over the course of the war, a drop out of the more than 600,000 Americans on both sides who lost their lives over the course of the war.
This is the latest entry of Madison Snaps: photos of Madison-area events and locations. The send a message. There is no compensation for Madison Snaps photos, which are © to the respective photographers.