Two Million Steps is the story of two men from western Wisconsin who were members of the 25th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company A. It tells their journey from the formation of the regiment through the end of the war. During the Civil War men from both sides rushed to volunteer seeking excitement, adventure, and to defend their state along with their country. This is the regiments story.
In 1862, the 25th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment was formed in La Crosse, Wisconsin, from mostly volunteers from the western part of the state. The regiment went to war with 1,018 men. The Twenty-Fifth Wisconsin would go on to fight in seven major campaigns and numerous smaller skirmishes with a common motto amongst its men that was coined by Chauncey H. Cooke, a private from Company G and was picked up by the regiment, "I have no heart in this war if the slaves cannot go free.". During the war, the Regiment lost the largest percentage of soldiers from Wisconsin units. They were often called to lead the attacks in Major General Sherman's March to the Sea and onto the end of the war because of their ferociousness in battle.