Hans Christian Heg bigraphy, stories - Union United States Army officer

Hans Christian Heg : biography

December 21, 1829 - September 19, 1863

Hans Christian Heg (21 December 1829 – 20 September 1863) was a Norwegian- American politician and soldier in the American Civil War from Wisconsin.


  • There is a statue of Hans Christian Heg by Paul Fjelde at the King Street approach to the State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin
  • There is a statue of Hans Christian Heg in the town of Wind Lake, Wisconsin Heg Memorial Park in Racine County, Wisconsin (Statues of Historic Figures) http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM2BK9 as well as in Madison, Wisconsin.
  • A replica of these statues stands in Heg's birthplace at Haugestad in the community of Lierbyen in Lier, Norway. It was a gift by Norwegian-Americans to the people of Norway. The unveiling of this statue took place on St. Hans Day, 25 June 1925.
  • Heg Memorial Park in Racine County is named in his honor.Colbo, Ella Stratton

Historic Heg Memorial Park: photographic views and brief historical sketches of the outstanding points of interest in and about Heg Memorial Park, Racine County, Wisconsin (Racine, Wisconsin: Racine County Historical Society, 1975)

  • Heg Memorial Park Museum, containing Heg memorabilia, is located on Heg Park Road in Wind Lake, Wisconsin
  • His original homestead house is located a short distance from the Heg Memorial Park.
  • Another house formerly owned by Hans Christian Heg was located at the current site of the Waterford, Wisconsin, Public Library.
  • There is a memorial to Hans Christian Heg at the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park., sculptor Paul Fjelde


Heg was born at Haugestad in the community of Lierbyen in Lier, Buskerud, Norway on December 21, 1829. He was the eldest of the four children of an innkeeper. His father, Even Hansen Heg (1790–1850), moved his family to America in 1840, settling in the Muskego Settlement in Wisconsin. Hans Heg was eleven years old when his family arrived in Muskego. He soon earned a reputation for himself as being a gifted boy.

At twenty years old, lured by the discovery of gold in the Sacramento Valley, he and three friends joined the army of "Forty-Niners". He spent the next two years prospecting for gold in California. Upon the death of his father, he returned to the Muskego area in 1851. He married Gunhild Einong, daughter of a Norwegian immigrant.

Heg became a rising young politician who found slavery abhorrent. He naturally became an ardent member of the Free Soil Party.Blegen, Theodrore C., editor. Civil War Letters of Colonel H. C. Heg Heg was a major in the 4th Wisconsin Militia and served as Wisconsin State Prison Commissioner. He was the first Norwegian born candidate elected state-wide in Wisconsin.

He soon joined the recently formed Republican Party. He was an outspoken anti-slavery activist and a leader of Wisconsin's Wide Awakes, an anti-slave catcher militia.Birth Records for the Parish of Lier (Den Norske kirke. Ministerialbok Nummer 10. Fylke: Buskerud. Prestegjeld: Lier/Frogner) Mike Miller, "," Capital Times, November 11, 1997.

Military service

With the outbreak of the Civil War, Heg was appointed by Governor Alexander Randall as colonel of the 15th Wisconsin Volunteer Regiment. Appealing to all young "Norsemen," he said, "the government of our adopted country is in danger. It is our duty as brave and intelligent citizens to extend our hands in defense of the cause of our Country and of our homes."Historic Heg Memorial Park, Racine County, Wisconsin 1940. The 15th Wisconsin was called the Scandinavian Regiment since its soldiers were almost all immigrants from Norway, with some from Denmark and Sweden. It was the only all Scandinavian regiment in the Union Army. On 8 October 1862, Colonel Heg led his regiment into its first action at the Battle of Perryville. Despite being under fire while being driven back several miles by the enemy, the 15th Wisconsin suffered few casualties and no fatalities. However, one of those hurt was Colonel Heg, who was injured when his horse fell.

Heg commanded the regiment during the Battle of Stones River. In response to his conduct at Stones River, Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans placed Colonel Heg in command of the newly formed 3rd Brigade of the 1st Division, XX Corps, Army of the Cumberland, on 1 May 1863.

On 19 September 1863, Colonel Heg led his brigade at the Battle of Chickamauga, where he was mortally wounded. Heg "was shot through the bowels and died the next day." Frank Clement, Wisconsin in the Civil War. The State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1997. Upon hearing of Heg's death, Rosecrans expressed regret, saying he had intended to promote Heg to brigadier general. As it was, Colonel Heg was the highest-ranked Wisconsin soldier killed in combat during the Civil War.

Heg was buried at the Norway Lutheran Church Cemetery near Wind Lake, Wisconsin.Colbo, Ella Stratton. , Historic Heg Memorial Park, Racine County, Wisconsin, 1975; "", News of Norway, issue 4, 1999

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