John J. Lansworth

Courtesy of Kristin Burge

John J. Lansworth

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry

The Scandinavian Regiment

Name at Enlist John J. Lansworth
Birth Name
Lived 10 Nov 1842 - 22 Apr 1917
Birth Place Racine County, WI
Birth Country United States
Residence at Muster-In Norway, Racine County, WI
Company at Enlistment C
Rank at Enlistment Corporal
Muster Date 2 Dec 1861
Cause of Death Long illness
Death Location Ogema, Price County, WI
Burial Location Hillside Cemetery, Ogema, Price County, WI
Mother Julia J.
Father Ole Johnson Lansworth
Spouse Susan N. Myrland
Spouse Lived 26 Jul 1847 - 30 Apr 1909
Married On 25 Sep 1865
Marriage Location York, Green County, Wisconsin
2nd Spouse Catherine White
2nd Marriage Date 29 Jul 1913
2nd Marriage Location Wisconsin

John J. Lansworth was born on November 10, 1842 in Racine County, WI to Ole Johnson Lansworth and Julia J.

Lansworth was enlisted by Fredrick R. Berg on October 11, 1861. Company C was the regimental Color Company, but its members called themselves the "Norway Bear Hunters." John was mustered into Federal service at the rank of Corporal (Korporal) for a 3-year term of service on December 2, 1861, at Camp Randall, near Madison, Dane County, WI. At the time he was 20 years old and not married. His residence was listed as Norway, Racine County, WI. He was a farmer by occupation.

On January 14, 1862, the men of the 15th WI were issued Belgian rifled muskets. On March 2, 1862, after 3 months at Camp Randall learning to be a soldier, Corporal Lansworth left there with his company and regiment to join the war. From then until September 1863, he was recorded as "Present" with his company. Company C was detailed to duty at the Mississippi River settlement of Bird's Point, MO from mid-March until right after the fall of Island No. 10 on April 8, 1862. Company C then helped to occupy Island No. 10 for the remainder of April, May, and into early June 1862.

On June 11, 1862, Corporal Lansworth left Island No. 10 along with 8 of the regiment's 10 companies. The next few months were spent on campaign through TN, MS, and AL. In August and September, Corporal Lansworth would have participated in the grueling 400-mile retreat with U.S. General Don Carlos Buell up to Louisville, KY, with the last 2 weeks being on half rations and short of water.

Corporal Lansworth would have then been present at the October 8, 1862, fighting at Perryville, Boyle County, KY, which is also called the Battle of Chaplin Hills. While this was the 15th's first big battle, it emerged without any fatalities. On December 26, 1862, he would have participated in the 15th's desperate charge upon a Confederate artillery battery at Knob Gap, TN, just south of the Nashville. There the 15th captured a brass cannon. He would have also fought at the long, cold, wet, and bloody Battle of Stone 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.

The 15th camped in the Murfreesboro area for the next 6 months, except for 2 weeks in February when it was sent to Franklin, Williamson County, TN. On April 1, 1863, Corporal Lansworth was appointed as a Sergeant (Sersjant) in Company C. Starting June 23, 1863, the regiment took part in U.S. General Rosecrans' Tullahoma campaign. On July 3, 1863, the 15th went into camp at Winchester, Franklin County, TN for 6 weeks.

On August 17, 1863, the 15th left Winchester to participate in U.S. General Rosecrans' Chickamauga campaign. Sergeant Lansworth is believed to have been present at the daring early morning crossing of the Tennessee River on August 28th, which the 15th led. He was present at the September 19-20, 1863, Battle of Chickamauga, GA -- the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War. There on the afternoon of the first day of the battle, he was "wounded in the ankle with a Minnie ball" during the vicious fighting around Viniard's Farm. Some 63% of the 15th's soldiers who were at Chickamauga were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner. Only the timely arrival of the 2 nearly full companies that had been doing guard duty at Island No. 10 kept the 15th from being consolidated into another regiment.

From the time of his wounding until December 1863, Sergeant Lansworth was listed as "Absent" from the regiment recovering in Chattanooga, TN. During most of that time the Confederate army was laying siege to Chattanooga. This resulted in severe shortages of medicine, food, and firewood which, together with cold, wet weather, caused much suffering, sickness, and death. The siege was finally broken on November 25, 1863, by the Union Army's victorious charge up Mission Ridge, which the 15th took part in.

Starting right after Mission Ridge the 15th was engaged in almost non-stop marching and counter-marching all over Eastern TN throughout the winter of 1863/1864. By many original accounts, this was the worst period of the regiment's 3-year term of service. Poor rations, inadequate clothing and shelter, and unseasonably cold weather made these months nearly unbearable. On February 1, 1864, the 15th's Brigade Commander transferred Sergeant Lansworth and a number of other 15th soldiers to the 68th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment. On April 1, 1864, the War Department transferred them all back to the 15th.

Starting in May 1864, Sergeant Lansworth and the 15th participated in U.S. General William T. Sherman's famous campaign to capture Atlanta, GA. The campaign was marked by almost daily marching and/or combat for 4 months. The 15th took part in the fighting at Rocky Face Ridge, GA in early May; at the bloody Battle of Resaca, GA on May 14-15; and at the disastrous Battle of Pickett's Mill (often called Dallas or New Hope Church), GA on May 27, 1864. There the 15th suffered fearful casualties, including 29 soldiers captured (many of whom later died in the infamous Andersonville Prison Camp).

The 15th also fought at Kenesaw Mountain, GA on June 23; before Atlanta on July 22; Jonesboro, GA on September 1; and at Lovejoy Station, GA on September 4, 1864. After a rest following the capture of Atlanta in early September, the 15th was briefly assigned to Provost (police) duty in Chattanooga in early October. This was followed by several months spent guarding a railroad bridge at Whitesides, TN near Chattanooga. Some of the 15th's soldiers felt their time there was the easiest duty of their entire war service.

Sergeant Lansworth was honorably mustered out of Federal service along with most of the other surviving members of Company C on December 31, 1864, at Chattanooga, TN upon the expiration of their 3-year terms of service. At muster out the Army noted that Lansworth was due $100 in bounty money. Company C was then formally disbanded, the men paid off, sent back to WI, and released to their homes.

John Lansworth arrived home in Racine County on January 7, 1865, almost exactly 3 months before the war ended. He married Susan N. Myrland on October 23, 1865 in York, Green County, WI. In 1870, they were living in Primrose, Dane County, WI. Together they would eventually have at least eight children, including: Ida J. (1866), Lizzie (1869), Annie (1871), Lualla (1874), Mable (1876), Cora Alma (1881), and Myrl (1885). He is recorded as having been a member of the Baptist Church and the Sons of Temperance Lodge. From 1879-1880, he served as the elected Town Treasurer. In 1880, they relocated to Mayville, Clark County, WI where John continued to work as a farmer. By 1900, they were living in Ogema, Price County, WI. Susan died in 1909, and John remarried in 1913 to Catherine White. They married on July 29, 1913. After a long illness, John died a few years later on April 22, 1917. He is buried next to Susan in Hillside Cemetery in Ogema.

 

Sources: History of Northern Wisconsin, A. T. Andreas (Chicago, Illinois, 1881); Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett (Decorah, Iowa, 1894); Civil War Compiled Military Service Records, Office of Adjutant General of the United States (Washington, DC); Regimental Descriptive Rolls, Volume 20, Office of the Adjutant General State of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin, 1885); Wisconsin Marriage Records, Batch #M00348-0, GS Film #1266671, Ref. ID: 00654; findagrave.com; Park Falls, Wis., Independent; Civil War Pension Index, Roll#T288_273; 1870 Census, Roll: M593_1709, Page: 510B, Image: 281, Family History Library Film: 553208; 1880 Census, Roll: 1419, Family History Film: 1255419, Page: 407B, Enumeration District: 166; 1900 Census, Roll: 1812, Page: 1A, Enumeration District: 0153, FHL microfilm: 1241812; 1910 Census, Roll: T624_1730, Page: 5B, Enumeration District: 0134, FHL microfilm: 1375743.


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