The Seventeenth Wisconsin Infantry Regiment was organized at Camp Randall, Madison, Wisconsin, and mustered into the service of the United States on the 15th of March, 1862. The regiment left the state March 23, going directly to St. Louis, and from there on April 10 to Pittsburg Landing, TN, disembarking there on the 14th day of April.
The 17th took part in the advance on Corinth and the siege which followed April 29 to June 10, 1862. It was also engaged at the Battle of Corinth October 3-4, 1862. Early in November it reported at Grand Junction, TN, to take part in the contemplated advance upon Vicksburg. Until January, it was actively engaged in various movements in western Tennessee. In the latter part of the month it proceeded to Memphis, TN and embarked down the Mississippi River reaching Young's Point, LA, on the 25th of January, 1863; it encamped there and at Lake Providence. On May 12 it crossed the River at Grand Gulf, joining the army under Grant which was actively engaged in the campaign. The regiment took part in the battle of Champion's Hill, May 16. On May 19th the 17th took its place in the trenches for the siege of Vicksburg, May 19-July 4, 1863 and remained until the surrender. On the 14th of July it proceeded to an occupied Natchez, MS, where the Seventeenth remained until the latter part of October 1863, when it returned to Vicksburg. During its stay at Natchez it participated in a large number of scouting expeditions and skirmishes.
On the 5th of May, 1864, the Seventeenth was assigned to the Third Brigade, Third Division of the Seventeenth Army Corps Army of the Tennessee, of Sherman's Army, and as a part of such organization participated in the Atlanta Campaign, May 1 to September 8, 1864. It also participated in the battles of Kenesaw Mountain, Chattahoochie River, Jonesborough and Lovejoy Station. The 17th was also in the "March to the Sea", November 15 to December 21, and in the Campaign of the Carolinas, January 1 to April 26, 1865. The Seventeenth participated in the Grand Review at Washington, May 24, 1865. It was sent to Louisville, KY and mustered out of service there on July 14, 1865. The regiment reached Madison on the 17 of July, and was soon thereafter disbanded.