History of the Camp Randall Arch
The Camp Randall Memorial Arch commemorates one of the most turbulent times in our nation's history: the Civil War. The arch was dedicated in 1912 as a tribute to the more than 70,000 soldiers who received military training at the site between 1861 and 1865.
Camp Randall was named for Alexander W. Randall, the governor of Wisconsin at the beginning of the war. Today our stadium shares its name with this important historic site.
The encampment included barracks and officer quarters that could accommodate up to 5000 soldiers at a time. For a brief period in 1862 the site also served as a prisoner of war camp for 1300 Confederate soldiers captured along the Mississippi River. While at Camp Randall 140 rebel soldiers died and were buried at "Confederate Rest" at nearby a Forest Hill Cemetery resulting in the northernmost Confederate cemetery burial site in the United States. Union soldiers are in an adjacent but separate section of the cemetery.
The arch, located near the intersection of Dayton St. and Randall Ave. serves as the entrance to Camp Randall Memorial Park ó a historic site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It's also the entrance to Camp Randall Stadium for the UW Marching Band on football Saturdays.
Two statues flank the front of the arch - a young solider ready to march off to war and a veteran returning to Camp Randall nearly 50 years after the war. The "1912" inscription on the veteranís pedestal refers to the dedication date of the arch, and the "1861-1865" inscription on the enlisted soldier's pedestal marks the years our country fought the Civil War.
History of Camp Randall and the arch video by Wisconsin Public Television with Daniel Einstein, UW Historic and Cultural Resources Manager
Report on Camp Randall Memorial Park