Sam  Samson

Sam Samson

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry

The Scandinavian Regiment

Name at Enlist Sam Samson
Birth Name
Other Names Samuel; Samson S. Njos
Lived 19 Oct 1833 - 7 Feb 1913
Birth Place Njos farm, Bergen stift
Birth Country Norway
Residence at Muster-In Leeds, Columbia County, WI
Company at Enlistment H
Rank at Enlistment Private
Muster Date 13 Feb 1862
Death Location Nelson County, ND
Immigration 1861
Spouse Berret (Betsey) Amfinson
Spouse Lived 1850-
Married On 1865
Marriage Location Freeborn County, MN

Sam Samson was born on Njos farm in Bergen stift in Norway on October 19, 1833. He was initially named Samson S. Njos, but an error at enlistment in 1861 changed his name to Samuel Samson. In Norway, he worked as a farmer, fisherman, and sailor. He immigrated to America in 1861 at the age of 28.

Samson joined the WI 15th Infantry, Company H. The men of the company called themselves "Heg's Rifles" in honor of the 15th commander, Colonel Hans C. Heg. They were also known as the "Voss Company" because of a large number of them who were from the Voss region of Norway.

The army listed him as living in Leeds, Columbia County, WI. He enlisted for three years on October 2, 1861, at Madison, WI, and mustered there on February 13, 1862, as a Private (Menig) and Drummer. In total, he served in over twenty battles. He was wounded below the left knee at Chickamauga, GA, on September 19, 1863, and sent to hospital. According to the Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota:

He was saved from a prison only by the severity of his wound, which was so neglected that it became dangerous to his life...He refused absolutely to have his leg amputated, and finally, after two years on crutches, recovered the use of it sufficiently to begin to walk unsupported.

On February 9, 1865, he was sent north to Harvey hospital in Madison. He was discharged from the service there for his wounds on January 9, 1865.

After the war, he first settled in Freeborn County, MN, where he married Berret (Betsey) Amfinson in 1865. She was also born in Norway and had immigrated to the U.S. in 1858. They then moved to Nelson County, ND, where he farmed 320 acres of land. Sam and Betsey had 10 children: Mary Ann, Andrew, Sophia A., Bernhard, John, Sophia, Bertina, Theodore, Andrew, and an unnamed infant.


Sources: Series 1200: Records of Civil War Regiments, 1861-1900, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, box 76-10; Regimental muster and descriptive rolls, 1861-1865, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, vol.20, p.118; Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett (Decorah, Iowa, 1894), p.572; Oberst Heg og hans gutter, Waldemar Ager, 1916, Fremad Pub. Co., Eau Claire, WI, p.310; Nordmaendene i Amerika, Martin Ulvestad, 1907, History Book Co., Minneapolis, MN, p.327; Blaine Hedberg, NAGC&NL; 1875 MN Census, Roll #MNSC_7, line 37, p.457; 1900 U.S. Census, Roll: 1230, Page: 9B, Enumeration District: 0101, FHL microfilm: 1241230;; Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota (Geo. A Ogle & Co., 1900), p.1000.

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