Marker 299: Wisconsin Military Reservation

© Photographed November 2, 2012
Erected 1991 by Wisconsin Historical Society
Camp Douglas, Juneau County, Wisconsin
43° 55.511′ N, 90° 15.662′ W

Following the Civil War, state officials reorganized the Wisconsin Militia and in 1879 renamed it the Wisconsin National Guard. Adjutant General Chandler P. Chapman of Madison, a veteran of the famed Iron Brigade, purchased 440 acres near the Village of Camp Douglas, which was used for rifle practice beginning in 1888. Chapman transferred the land to the State shortly thereafter. The original tract was enlarged and became known as the Wisconsin Military Reservation. National Guard training camps were conducted at the Military Reservation, and within a few years Wisconsin troops had earned a national reputation for marksmanship and other soldiering skills. Four regiments of the Guard were rapidly mobilized for duty at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War (1898), demonstrating the efficiency of the state's training program. Guard units mobilized on the grounds during both World Wars. 

In 1927 the Wisconsin Military Reservation was renamed Camp Williams in honor of Lt. Col. Charles R. Williams, the training camp's Quartermaster who is buried on the site. Hundreds of thousands of Guard members have been trained on the installation since 1900. In 1957 the state legislature ordered the portion of the Reservation used by the Air National Guard to be named Volk Field in honor Lt. Jerome A. Volk, the first Wisconsin fighter pilot killed in action during the Korean Conflict.
The marker is located near the Wisconsin National Guard Museum, on the grounds of and beyond the security checkpoint at Volk Field, 100 Independence Drive, Camp Douglas, Wisconsin. To reach the museum, exit I-90/94 at Interchange 55 at the town of Camp Douglas, and follow the signs to Volk Field (there's no way to miss them).

NOTE: This is an active military base; be prepared to present proper identification at the base security checkpoint.

NOTE ALSO: It is highly recommended that you call ahead to schedule a visit. The museum itself has limited hours; however, there is still a lot to see on the grounds around the museum. The museum director is Eric -- he was so very helpful in arranging my visit. He can be reached at 608-427-1280. If you call when the museum is closed, just leave a message and Eric will call you back.

Click here to see all markers / memorials at Wisconsin National Guard Volk Field / Camp Williams.

That's a P-51D "Mustang" in the background.

  The security checkpoint is just beyond this median.

The entrance to Wisconsin National Guard Volk Field / Camp Williams. 

Wisconsin National Guard Volk Field / Camp Williams
is located in Camp Douglas, Wisconsin.

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