The Wisconsin 42nd Volunteer Infantry was organized at Camp Randall, Madison, Wis. in Sept. 1864. Commanded by Col. Ezra T. Sprague, the regiment was headquartered at Cairo, Ill., from which various companies were detached to Springfield for provost duty or to parts of the state where military surveillance had become necessary. The regiment remained at Cairo until it was mustered out in June 1865.
This collection, which the Illinois Historical Survey acquired in 1978, contains 40 photographs of men of the 42nd, many of which are signed. About half of the photographs were taken in Olney, Ill. The collection also includes two brass uniform buttons with raised eagle emblems.