Watercolors of Corporal John Gaddis: Documenting the Civil War
Join us as we debut new operating hours for the Sheboygan County Historical Museum and feature a traveling exhibit from the Wisconsin Veterans Museum.
Watercolors of Corporal John Gaddis: Documenting the Civil War, a traveling exhibit of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, captures the daily life of a Union army soldier during the 1860s. All of the paintings were done “in the field” by Corporal John Gaddis while he was based at Camp Randall in Wisconsin, and while on military campaigns in Kansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Corporal Gaddis, who served for three years between 1861 and 1864, enlisted as a private from Dellona, Wisconsin. A farmer in civilian life, he received no formal art training. Besides the 14 framed watercolors in this exhibit, only two other of his works are known to exist—another Civil War drawing owned by a private collector and an oil portrait in the collection of the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Gaddis’ regiment, the 12th Wisconsin Infantry, entered federal service at Camp Randall in November 1861. It participated in three of the most famous campaigns of the Civil War. The 12th was designated as one of the “Marching Regiments.” Its service began with many miles of marching in Kansas, thence transferred to Western Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi and finally with Gen. Sherman. It is claimed that the regiment marched 3,838 miles, traveled by railroad 2,506 miles, by steamboat 3,159 miles, a total of 9,503 miles.
In addition to the special Watercolors of Corporal John Gaddis: Documenting the Civil War exhibit, visitors will be able to see a mock Union encampment that is used extensively with the Sheboygan County Historical Museum’s Full Day Student Education Program, Sheboygan County & the Civil War. Both will be on display during the Museum’s regular operating hours, which are expanding in 2018.