Arnoldus  Schlanbusch

Photo RG985-CWP-161.76. Wm. Schultz College, U.S. Army Military History Institute.

Arnoldus Schlanbusch

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry

The Scandinavian Regiment

Name at Enlist Arnoldus Schlanbusch
Birth Name
Other Names Schlambush
Lived 11 Mar 1836 - 23 Mar 1906
Birth Place Vossevangen
Birth Country Norway
Residence at Muster-In Chicago, Cook County, IL
Company at Enlistment A
Rank at Enlistment First Sergeant
Muster Date 15 Nov 1861
Death Location Sheridan, IL
Burial Location Sheridan Cemetery, Mission, IL
Mother Larsina Gjetlesdatter Bøe
Mother Lived 11 Dec 1811- 2 Jun 1888
Father Fredrick Schlanbusch
Father Lived 31 Dec 1805- 27 Sep 1852
Immigration 1860
Spouse Nikoline Synestvedt
Spouse Lived 11 Jul 1841-17 Feb 1919
Married On 1866

Arnoldus Schlanbusch was born “Arnoldus von Westen Sylow Koren Schlanbusch” on March 11, 1836, at Vossevangen, Norway. He was a descendant of a German who had come to Kongsberg, Norway, in 1685, to administer silver mines. Arnoldus Schanbusch trained as a sailor and navigator in Norway.

Arnoldus immigrated to Chicago, IL, in 1860. He was enlisted by Captain Andrew Torkildson in 1861 for a 3-year term of service to replace Emanuel Engelstad, resigned his commission and left the Army. 1st Sergeant Schlanbusch was present at the October 8, 1862, fighting at Perryville, Boyle County, KY, which was also called the Battle of Chaplin Hills. While this was the 15th's first big battle, it emerged without any fatalities.

Shortly after the battle, Captain Torkildson resigned his commission and left. For a short period Company A was commanded by its sole remaining officer, 2nd Lieutenant Oliver Thompson. The company then got a new commander, Captain John M. Johnson who was promoted and transferred over from Company E.

On December 26, 1862, 1st Sergeant Schlanbusch participated in the 15th's desperate charge upon a Confederate artillery battery at Knob Gap, TN, just south of Nashville. There the 15th captured a brass cannon. He then fought at the long, cold, wet, and bloody Battle of Stones River, TN, also called the Battle of Murfreesboro, on December 30-31, 1862. It is there that the 15th first suffered serious battle casualties, and was cited for bravery. On the second day of the battle 1st Sergeant Schlanbusch was taken prisoner. The following is from Buslett's 1895 history of the 15th WI:

"After the battle General Rosecrans issued an order to the various regiments' commanders to submit to headquarters a list of one sergeant, two corporals and four or five privates in each company (altogether no more than six from each company), who had shown the greatest courage and ability during the battle. These would be entered on the Roll of Honor."

The 15th's commander, Colonel Hans C. Heg, submitted 1st Sergeant Schlanbusch's name in response to this order and he was subsequently entered on the Roll of Honor for the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 20th Army Corps for his actions in the battle.

After being held as a prisoner of war for 2 months, 1st Sergeant Schlanbusch was paroled by the Confederates in March 1863. He was then sent to Union Army camp near St. Louis, MO. He remained there until May 1863, before being formally exchanged and allowed to rejoin the 15th, which was camped at Murfreesboro.

Starting June 23, 1863, the 15th took part in General Rosecrans' Tullahoma campaign. On July 3, 1863, the regiment went into camp for 6 weeks at Winchester, Franklin County, TN. On August 17, 1863, the 15th left there to participate in General Rosecrans' Chickamauga campaign. 1st Sergeant Schlanbusch is believed to have been present at the daring early morning crossing of the Tennessee River on August 28th, which the 15th led.

1st Sergeant Schlanbusch was present with Company A at the September 19-20, 1863, fighting at Chickamauga, GA, the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War. He survived the vicious fighting around Viniard's Farm on the first afternoon where Captain Johnson was killed. He also survived the near capture of the regiment around midday on the 20th near Brotherton Field during Longstreet's Breakthrough. It was there that Lieutenant Thompson was killed. His death left 1st Sergeant Schlanbusch in command of the company, which consisted of only some 20 enlisted men who had survived the battle unhurt. Overall, some 63% of the 15th's soldiers who were at Chickamauga were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner.

1st Sergeant Schlanbusch then served with the regiment during the Confederate siege of Chattanooga, TN, which began right after the battle. The siege caused severe shortages of medicine, food, and firewood. It was not until the Union Army's victorious charge up Mission Ridge on November 25, 1863, which the 15th took part in, that the siege was finally broken. However, starting November 21, 1863, 1st Sergeant Schlanbusch was detached from the regiment and sent to WI to recruit new volunteers to fill up the shattered ranks of Company A.

In March 1864, 1st Sergeant Schlanbusch rejoined the 15th, which was then preparing to participate in General William T. Sherman's campaign to capture Atlanta, GA. However, on May 6, 1864, 1st Sergeant Schlanbusch was mustered out of the Army at Ringgold, GA, and transferred into the U.S. Navy. He was replaced as 1st Sergeant by Henry Siegel.

He is on the Roll of Honor for the 2nd Brigade, Twentieth Army Corps. After the war, he owned a general merchandise business in Norway, IL. He later moved to Serena, IL and then Sheridan, IL. He married Nikoline who was also born in Norway. Their children were: Pauline, Magdalina, Larsina Maria, Florence Maria, Astra Gunfrida, and Walter Theodore. Pauline eventually married Dr. W.H. Carmell of Magnolia, IA, and Walter Theodore helped Arnoldus run his general store. Arnoldus was very involved in his local community, serving as a trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church, a member of the village board, village treasurer, charter member of the local GAR, a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

Sources: A History of the Norwegians of Illinois by A.E. Strand (1905); Historie om Udvandringen Fra Voss og Vossingerne i Amerika by Knut A. Rene (Madison, Wisconsin, 1930); Hordaland fylke, Voss, Ministerialbok nr. A 12 (1823-1837), Fødte og døpte 1836, page 148; Familien Von Schlanbusch med indgiftede Familier. 1665-1890, Fred. T. Salicath, page 19 (; Oberst Heg og hans gutter, Waldemar Ager (Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 1916); Civil War Compiled Military Service Records by Office of Adjutant General of the United States (Washington, DC); Regimental Descriptive Rolls, Volume 20 by the Office of the Adjutant General State of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin, 1885); and, Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865, Volume 1 by the Office of the Adjutant General State of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin, 1886); 1880 census, Roll: 223, Family History Film: 1254223, Page: 468C, Enumeration District: 077, Image: 0457; 1900 Census, Roll: 316, Page: 5B, Enumeration District: 0069, FHL microfilm: 1240316;; History of Norwegians of Illinois, edited by A.E. Strand (John Anderson Publishing Co.: 1905), p.475.


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