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Mom's Civil War Ancestry
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Andrew Davidson — 4th Wisconsin Light Artillery

Ole Davidson — 27th Iowa Infantry

Elling Ellingson — 15th Wisconsin Infantry

Niels Himle Ellickson — 6th Iowa Cavalry

Military Heritage


Artificer* Andrew Davidson
(alias Andrew David)

4th Independent Battery
Wisconsin Light Artillery

Enlisted and mustered in 22 Sep 1861 as a Private.
Promoted to Artificer.
Mustered out 8 Oct 1864.

The battery was dispatched to Fortress Monroe, Virginia, where it was put in charge of the barbette guns and spent the summer. It had the honor of firing the gun "Union" during the engagement between the Monitor and Merrimac in March 1862.

It was afterward engaged in defensive and garrison duties at various locations until April 1864, when it was assigned to the Artillery Brigade, 1st Division, 18th Army Corps which moved up the James River and took part in the two days engagements about Fort Clinton on the Appomattox. It was under fire at Proctor's Creek, near Drewry's Bluff and covered the army's rear as it retired.

It took position in the entrenchments on Bermuda Hundred where it remained until June 4, when it was attached to Kautz's Cavalry Division, with which it participated in the early assaults on Petersburg, at one time being exposed for 2 hours to a concentrated fire of 14 guns.

On July 8 the entire battery was converted into horse artillery and on the 27th the left section moved with the cavalry and participated in the battle of Malvern Hill. The battery returned to Petersburg and was in numerous engagements with the Army of the Potomac in and about Richmond until mustered out.

*The artificer was primarily a blacksmith - he repaired the wood and iron parts of the battery carriages.


Notable Relatives


Pvt. Ole Davidson

27th Iowa Infantry
Company K

Enlisted 13 Aug 1862 and mustered in 9 Sep 1862.
Died of disease of Memphis, Tennessee on 21 Jun 1864.
Buried in Mississippi River National Cemetery, Memphis, Tennessee.

The regiment initially reported to Maj.-Gen. Pope, commanding the Department of the Northwest, to take part in the campaign against the Indians, who were waging war against the settlers of Minnesota. Upon reaching St. Paul it went into quarters at Fort Snelling, and soon after six companies of the regiment proceeded to Mille Lac to superintend the payment of the annuity to the tribe at that point.

It was then ordered south and was engaged in various activities in Tennessee and central Mississippi. It participated in the capture of Little Rock, Arkansas, where it remained on picket duty until November 1863. After returning to Memphis, Tennessee, it then proceeded to Vicksburg and was assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 16th Corps, with which it took part in the Meridian Raid. It accompanied the Red River Expedition and was in numerous skirmishes and battles of that movement. At Pleasant Hill, Louisiana it lost 88 in killed and wounded, and it formed a part of the force that covered the retreat from Grand Ecore to Alexandria, almost constantly skirmishing on the way. It was also engaged at Marksville and Yellow Bayou. It accompanied the forces under Smith, which dislodged Gen. Marmaduke from his position at Lake Chicot and then went into camp at Memphis, where Pvt. Davidson subsequently died of disease.


Pvt. Elling Ellingson

15th Wisconsin Infantry
"The Scandinavian Regiment"
Company F

Enlisted 25 Dec 1861 and mustered in 29 Dec 1861.

Took part in battles at Island No. 10, Perryville, Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge. Seriously wounded at Stone's River, Tennessee on 31 Dec 1862.

Sick and sent to hospital on 18 Jul 1864, where he was treated for chronic diarrhea, scurvy & stomach cramps.

Mustered out 13 Jan 1865 at Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The 15th Wisconsin was called the "Scandinavian Regiment" because its soldiers were almost all immigrants from Norway, with some from Denmark and Sweden. While Norsemen served in both the Union and Confederate Armies, the 15th was the only all Scandinavian regiment in either. It was led by Norwegian-born Col. Hans Christian Heg who was mortally wounded at Chickamauga, Georgia in 1863, becoming the highest ranked Wisconsin soldier killed in battle.

Colonel Heg required his officers to be fluent in English, but many of the enlisted men spoke only their native tongue. While orders were in English, everyday conversations were in Norwegian, which the Confederates often mistook for German.

The Union victory at Perryville, Kentucky on October 8, 1862 was the 15th's first big battle. Despite forcing the enemy back more than a mile, none of the regiment's soldiers were killed.

At Stone's River, Tennessee on December 30-31, 1862, the 15th suffered 36% casualties.They suffered severely from the cold and a lack of rations during and after the battle. Afterwards Colonel Heg, the 15th, and a number of its soldiers were cited for bravery.

The 15th suffered 63% casualties at Chickamauga, Georgia on September 19-20, 1863 -- the war's second bloodiest battle. Colonel Heg was mortally wounded and all of the 15th's field officers were killed, wounded, or captured. The next morning just 75 men answered role call.

After the war Pvt. Elling Ellingson became a Deputy Sheriff in Freeborn County, Minnesota.


Sgt. Niels Himle Ellickson

6th Iowa Cavalry
Company D

Enlisted 17 Oct 1862 and mustered in 18 Oct 1862.
Mustered out 17 Oct 1865 at Sioux City, Iowa.

This regiment was recruited in different parts of the state, in a wide belt of country extending from the northeastern to the southwestern parts of it.

The regimental rendezvous was near the city of Davenport, where eight of the companies were mustered into the U. S. service on Jan. 31, 1863. Three of the companies were mustered a very few days afterward and the twelfth company on March 5. The regiment at this time had a few more than 1,100 names on its rolls, but they were constantly being increased by additional enlistments, so that when it left the rendezvous for active service not long afterwards it was nearly up to the maximum standard of a cavalry regiment.

The regiment served during its term of enlistment in the war against the Indians, and its record in the field brought no discredit to the fair fame of Iowa soldiers. It had hard marches, far away from the comforts or advantages of civilization; fought barbarous foes, usually in overwhelming numbers, and was always victorious.

The regiment was nearly always more or less divided, garrisoning different posts, scouting and marching in different directions, making a succinct history of its arduous services almost impossible. During its term of service its losses were as follows: deaths from battle, 25; deaths from disease, 66; wounded, 19; discharged, 87.

The regiment was involved in the following engagements in the Dakota Territory:

White Stone Hill, 3-5 Sep 1863*
Fort Randall, 1 Mar 1864
Bad Lands, 8 Aug 1864
Fort Rice, 28 Aug 1864
Heart River, 8 Sep 1864
Fort Rice, 21-27 Sep 1864**

*White Stone Hill, Dakota Territory, Sept. 3-5, 1863. Northwestern Expedition.
These two affairs were incidents of an expedition against the Indians in Dakota. The action on the 3d was the bloodier, the soldiers coming upon the Indian encampment and charging into it. On the 5th a scouting party came upon a band of Indians in the tall grass, and killed the larger part of them, the Indian loss being over 150. The troops had 17 enlisted men killed and 36 officers and men wounded.

**Fort Rice, Dakota Territory, Sept. 11-30, 1864. U. S. Troops under Capt. Daniel J. Dill.
An expedition left the post to relieve the emigrant train of one Capt. Fisk. The command numbered 850 of which 350 were cavalry, and a section of artillery. Capt. Daniel J. Dill, of the 30th Wis. infantry, commanded. On the tenth day out, after marching 180 miles, the detachment reached the fortified corral of the emigrant train, and the following morning the emigrants all returned to Fort Rice with the relief expedition. No Indians were seen until within 40 miles of the fort, when a band of them managed to stampede the horses of the expedition and capture 15 of them.




Norse Highlanders

Maternal Civil War Ancestry

Created: 9 Sep 2008
Modified: 15 Apr 2010

Tad D. Campbell
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