Chloe Bonchonsky is a recent 2023 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating as a Political Science major with certificates in History and French. As a native New Yorker, Chloe has an interest in diving deeper into the history of her new home, Madison, Wisconsin.

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Weathered cardboard box with text label, the lid is removed revealing a aqua colored interior. The contents, paper-wrapped chlorinium packets are bound in blue tape.

OBJECT HISTORY: Box of Chlorinium

A box of chlorinium, tucked away in the Wisconsin Historical Society archives, opens the window to Civil War-era Camp Randall.

Print of Camp Randall from a south west view, 1862. Caption reads, ”CAMP RANDALL, (MADISON, WIS.) AS IT APPEARED IN 1862.” Wisconsin Historical Society ID: 1875.

Camp Randall Prison Camp

On the west side of Madison, the Second Wisconsin Regiment began training for the Civil War at Camp Randall in 1861, and for four months in 1862, Camp Randall doubled as a Confederate prisoner of war camp. In those months, Rebel prisoners would form a surprising relationship with the locals.

A group poses in front of the newly built Camp Randall Arch during its dedication to the Civil War veterans trained at Camp Randall. Wisconsin Historical Society ID: 11270.

From Fairs to Football Games: A History of Camp Randall

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Camp Randall Stadium has been through many transformations yet has remained central to local identity. Despite the grounds’ varying identities, the area remains a source of community for Wisconsinites in Madison.