SCOTT CANTWELL MEEKER, resident of Middleton, Wisconsin, is a writer, editor, and historian, with a special interest in the American Civil War. In 1999, he was instrumental in organizing a reunion at Old World Wisconsin of the descendants of those who served in Wisconsin’s 15th Volunteer Infantry Regiment, a group of valiant men known as “the Scandinavian Regiment.” Later that same year, Mr. Meeker helped organize another reunion, where more than 11,000 Civil War re-enactors took part in an entirely accurate recreation of the Battle of Chickamauga. This was the first time that the 15th Wisconsin soldiers were portrayed in a modern re-enactment. Staff from the Norwegian American Genealogical Center attended the Old World Wisconsin event, and subsequently helped supply historical information about members of the Regiment.
To support his passion for re-enactment, Mr. Meeker created a website dedicated to the 15th Wisconsin, posting background research for the use of the re-enactors. The site started small, and with that single purpose; soon it grew and evolved. In addition to securing information on battles, Mr. Meeker was determined to track down photographs and genealogical information on those who served in the Regiment. The website remained actively online until 2004. After that date, Mr. Meeker continued to receive information and updates for the soldier profiles, which he carefully placed in his Civil War archives for future reference and inclusion in the website. In late 2011, as Mr. Meeker planned the future of his website, he turned over the rights to his Wisconsin 15th Regiment collection and the website to NAGC & NL. He has entrusted this treasure and its copyright in perpetuity to our organization. Since this donation, NAGC & NL staff and volunteers have been working to process all of the Meeker electronic files, images, and archival material. Our aim is to include not only the contents of the Meeker website, but also to include much additional information that has been gathered since 2004. We are now pleased to share this important research free of charge with a worldwide audience via the NAGC & NL website.
Mr. Meeker dedicated his website to “Colonel Heg and his boys” with the following message: [the website] “exists because their compelling deeds, now nearly forgotten, have captivated and motivated us…”
KARLTON JEROME (JERRY) ROSHOLT (1923-2008) was a beloved journalist and writer. A graduate of Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, Rosholt worked at NBC News for 28 years, writing for Chet Huntley and John Chancellor. After his retirement, Rosholt moved back to Decorah and worked as a volunteer at Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum. He collected information and personal stories of Norwegians who fought in America’s wars. The culmination of his dedication was the publication in 2003 of “Ole Goes to War: Men from Norway who fought in America’s Civil War.” His research included an extensive database of information about over 10,000 Norwegians who served in the Civil War. In 2006, in recognition of his volunteer research, Rosholt was awarded the St. Olav Medal by HRH Harald V, King of Norway. Much of Rosholt’s research database is available on the Vesterheim Museum’s website: vesterheim.org
The following persons and organizations contributed to the information that Scott Meeker included on his original website: Forrest Brown, Norwegian-American Historical Association; Dee Anna Grimsrud, State Historical Society of Wisconsin Archives; Blaine Hedberg, The Norwegian American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library; Tove Dahl Johansen; Tom Redman; and Mike Thorson. The majority of original pictures appearing throughout the 15th Regiment website were electronically enhanced by Deep Vee Productions.
For this definitive resource now presented, we recognize the time, talents, and devotion of the following persons from the Norwegian American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library: volunteers John Reindl and Carolyn Love, student intern Jenna Schultz, and members of the NAGC & NL Website Committee: Paul O. Larson (chair); Helen Olberg; Diane Maurer; Jeanne Wright; and David Wright.
We salute the Powderkeg Web Design team in Verona, Wisconsin for their creative and productive contributions to this project.
THIS PROJECT HAS BEEN MADE POSSIBLE BY GENEROUS GRANTS TO NAGC & NL FROM THE GERHARD AND MILMA NAESETH CHARITABLE FOUNDATION AND FROM THE EDWIN E. AND JANET L. BRYANT FOUNDATION.