The organization of the Nineteenth Wisconsin Infantry Regiment was commenced at Racine, Wisconsin, in December 1861, and continued until the 20th of April, 1862, when the regiment was transferred to Camp Randall to guard rebel prisoners. The organization was perfected and the Nineteenth mustered into the service of the United States April 30, 1862.
The rebel prisoners having been transferred to Chicago, the Nineteenth left the state June 2, going directly to Washington, D.C., and from there proceeded to Norfolk, VA, where the regiment went into camp June 6. The next day it commenced service in earnest and periodically engaged in a large number of movements in southeastern Virginia until October 1862, when its field of operation was transferred to Newburn, NC, in the vicinity of which the regiment remained until April 1864. It was recalled to Virginia and assigned to the Eighteenth Army Corps as a part of the Army of the James, which it joined on April 28 at Yorktown. The Nineteenth participated in the movements of the Army of the James against Richmond in 1864-5. The principal engagements were the Assault on Petersburg, June 30, 1864; battle of Fair Oaks, October 27-28, 1864.
In December the Nineteenth was transferred to the Twentyfourth corps, participating in the final assault on Petersburg April 3, 1865. On that day the regiment entered Richmond, VA and was assigned to duty as Provost Guard, remaining there most of that month. It was transferred during the summer to several points in the State until August 9, when the Nineteenth was mustered out of the service of the United States. It returned to Madison on the 15, and was disbanded August 27, 1865.