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1863 October 10: The Death of Colonel Heg at Chickamauga

October 11, 2013

The following article on the colonel of Wisconsin’s “Scandinavian” regiment—the 15th Wisconsin Infantry—is from the October 10, 1863, issue of The Polk County Press.

Col. Hans Christian Heg.

The painful rumor that Col. Hans Christian Heg, of the 15th Wisconsin, was among the slain at Chickamauga is confirmed.  Thus is added another of our best and bravest to the victims of this accursed rebellion.

Col. Heg was of Norwegian origin, having been born near Drammen, Norway, in 1829, and was accordingly thirty-four years of age at the time of his death.  His father came to this state in 1840, and became a resident of the Muskego settlement, in Racine county, then a wilderness.  Hans Christian was the oldest son, a stout, hardy farmer boy at that time.  He attended the common school and rapidly acquired the  English language, soon acquiring a mastery of the elementary branches of education.

At the age of twenty he went to California and spent two years in the gold region, where, not without success, he endured the hardships of a miner’s life.  Soon after his return, in 1851, he married; bought his father’s farm in the town of Norway, and lived there until 1850 when he removed to Waterford and engaged in mercantile business, and was also interested in a flouring mill.

In the fall of that year, he was elected state Prison Commissioner, on the Republican ticket, and proved a most efficient and popular officer.  Re-elected in 1861, he resigned his office soon after, and set about the work of raising a regiment of his countrymen for the war, he soon gathered a thousand stalwart Norsemen, and, on the 2d of March, 1862, left the State.  His regiment participated in the capture of Island No. 10, and has since taken an active part in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi, and in many a desperate contest has shown itself worthy of all confidence, winning the special encomiums of Gen. Rosecrans [William S. Rosecrans].  For nearly a year past, Col. Heg has commanded a brigade.

The State has sent no braver soldier, and no truer patriot to aid in this mighty struggle for national unity, than Hans Christian Heg.  The valorous blood of the old Vikings ran in his veins, united with the gentler virtues of a Christian and a gentleman.—State Journal [Madison].

Col. Heg, is well known by several citizens of our county.  He is a brother-in-law, of Hon. JAMES D. REYMERT, former proprietor of the PRESS.

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