Lewis  Rolfson

Image has been clipped from a photo of 15th veterans. Group photo taken at a 1917 reunion at Madison, Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Historical Society, Iconography, ID 81091

Lewis Rolfson

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry

The Scandinavian Regiment

Name at Enlist Lewis Rolfson
Birth Name Lars Engebretsen
Other Names Lars, Louis Rolfsen
Patronymic Name Engebretsen
Lived 09 Feb 1841 - 07 Jan 1936
Birth Place Christiania
Birth Country Norway
Residence at Muster-In Norway, Racine County, WI
Company at Enlistment C
Rank at Enlistment Private
Muster Date 01 Jan 1862
Death Location Norway, Racine County, WI
Burial Location Norway Lutheran Church Cemetery, near Wind Lake, Racine County, WI
Mother Ingeborg Lagesdatter
Mother Lived 31 Jan 1819
Father Engebret Rolfsen Morthveit
Father Lived 7 May 1815
Immigration 3 Sep 1850
Spouse Betsy Haugan
Married On 13 Jul 1875
Marriage Location Muskego church, Muskego, Waukesha County, WI

Lewis Rolfson was born on February 9, 1841, near Christiana, Norway. His parents were Engebret Rolfsen Morthveit and Ingeborg Lagesdtr. His parents had married in Jevnaker, Oppland, Norway on April 15, 1838. Lewis' paternal grandparents were Rolf Tonnesen and Berthe Engebrethsen.

Lewis and his family immigrated in 1850 aboard the Vesta. They left from Christiania, Norway, and arrived in New York, NY. His siblings were Rolf (1838), Brede (1843), Maria (April 28, 1846). Once they were in the US, his parents had three more children: Anders (1850), Martin (1856), and Emil Douglas (1860).

Rolfson joined the WI 15th Infantry, Company C. The men of the company called themselves the "Norway Bear Hunters," but they were also known as the Color Company because the regimental Color Guard was attached to their company.

The army listed him as living in Norway Township, Racine County, WI, age 22, and unmarried. He enlisted for three years on December 14, 1861, at Madison, WI, and mustered there on January 1, 1862, as a Private (Menig). On July 1, 1863, he was left behind because of illness in Manchester, TN. Rolfson was missing in the Battle of Chickamauga, GA. He mustered out with Company C on January 1, 1865 at Chattanooga, TN.

After the war, Lewis lived at Lake Denoon, Racine County. He married Betsey Haugan on July 13, 1875. They had four children: Emily and Edna (born in 1881), Ada (1884), and Clarence (1887). Lewis died on January 7, 1936.

Sources: Series 1200: Records of Civil War Regiments, 1861-1900, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, box 76-5; Regimental muster and descriptive rolls, 1861-1865, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, vol.20 p.48; Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett (Decorah, Iowa, 1894), p.428; Oberst Heg og hans gutter, Waldemar Ager, 1916, Fremad Pub. Co., Eau Claire, WI, p.299; Nordmaendene i Amerika, Martin Ulvestad, 1907, History Book Co., Minneapolis, MN, p.325; Photocopy of a newspaper feature story, signed “F.D.M.” and dated 22 Jan 1933, paper unidentified.; Blaine Hedberg, NAGC&NL; NY Passenger and Immigration Lists, 1820-1850; Norway Digital Archives; Wedding announcement in Racine County Argus, 7/22/1875; 1860 Census, Roll: M653_1427, Page: 786, Image: 404, Family History Library Film: 805427; 1905 WI Census, Roll #CSUSAWI1905_25, Line 20.

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