Charles M. Reese

Charles M. Reese

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry

The Scandinavian Regiment

Name at Enlist Charles M. Reese
Birth Name
Other Names Riise; Carl Martin Reese
Lived 13 Aug 1824 -
Birth Place Copenhagen
Birth Country Denmark
Residence at Muster-In Madison, Dane County, WI
Rank at Enlistment Major
Muster Date 1 Dec 1861
Mother Feyer Kersten
Father Johan Christian Reese
Immigration 1852
Spouse Ida Coole
Spouse Lived - 1863
Married On 11 Apr 1853
Marriage Location Muskego, Waukesha County, WI

Charles M. Reese was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, on August 13, 1824, to Johan Christian Reese and Feyer Kersten. He was educated at a Latin school and then went to university in Denmark. He joined the Danish army at age 24 and served for 3 years including in the Schleswig-Holstein War. He served as captain from 1849-1850 and was discharged in 1851.

Charles immigrated in May 1852, and settled in Rock County, WI. He first served as editor of Emigranten until 1854. In 1853, he married Ida Coole of Waukesha County, WI, on April 11, 1853. Their marriage took place in Muskego, Wauskesha, WI. They had one child together named Harriet. They moved to Madison and edited the Norske Amerikaner until spring of 1860. Charles then moved to Chicago and established a paper called Echo from Scandinavia, which he ran until the beginning of the war.  Ida died in 1863.

When the war began, he enlisted on April 16, 1861, in I Company of the Illinois 24th Infantry. He was stationed at Alton, IL, until June 1861. In July 1861, he was promoted to Orderly Sergeant and then First Lieutenant and Adjutant of the regiment.

Reese was then commissioned to the WI 15th Infantry as a Major on December 1, 1861, which he did until August 1862. He was sick for much of his time in uniform. He was then transferred to the staff of General George H. Thomas as a Staff Quartermaster. He mustered out in Nashville, TN, on July 1865.

After the war, he stayed in Whiteside, TN, and worked in coal mining. He owned part of the mine. In 1872, he moved back to Chicago. In 1874, he moved to Ottawa, La Salle County, IL, and read law under Mayo & Widmer. Between 1877 and 1883, he served as a Justice of the Peace in Ottawa, IL. In May 1885, he moved to Streator, ran an insurance company, and worked as a Notary Public for western land deals.

Sources: Series 1200: Records of Civil War Regiments, 1861-1900, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, Archives, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, boxes 76-2, 78-1; Regimental Muster and Descriptive Rolls, 1861-1865, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, Archives, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, vol.20, p.2; Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett, 1894, Decorah, IA, p.323; Foreigners in the Union Army and Navy, Ella Lonn, 1952, c1951, Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, LA, p.252; Oberst Heg og hans Gutter [Colonel Heg and his boys], Waldemar Ager, 1916, Fremad Publ. Co., Eau Claire, WI, p.289, photo, p.289; Lars Gjertveit, Bodo, Norway, list of the Field Officers of the WI 15th Regiment Infantry; Elmer Baldwin, History of La Salle County, Illinois, Vol.1 (Inter-State Publishing Co., 1886), p.643; Norwegian Newspapers in America, by Odd Severre Lovoll (Minnesota Historical Society, 2010), p.28; Wisconsin Marriage Records, Batch # M00331-9, GS Film # 1275596.


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