Albert  Mikkelsen

Photo believed to have been taken post-war. Note "The Union Now and Forever" motto.

Image courtesy of his relative Milt Brickson.

Albert Mikkelsen

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry

The Scandinavian Regiment

Name at Enlist Albert Mikkelsen
Birth Name Ingebrigt Madsen Grov
Other Names Albert M. Hildestad, Ingebrith
Patronymic Name Madsen
Lived 04 May 1837 - 12 Jun 1883
Birth Place Grov, Solvern in Hafslo parish, Sogn og Fjordane
Birth Country Norway
Residence at Muster-In Madison, Dane County, WI
Company at Enlistment F
Rank at Enlistment Private
Muster Date 27 Jan 1862
Cause of Death Neuralgia and Disease of the Liver
Death Location Albert Lea, Freeborn County, MN
Burial Location Graceland Cemetery, Albert Lea, Freeborn County, MN
Mother Ragnild Hansdatter Grov
Mother Lived 1802-
Father Mads Iversen Tvedt (from Valders)
Immigration 1861
Spouse Marie Tostensdatter Ingebrigtson (Brickson)
Spouse Lived 1853-1938
Married On 28 Nov 1868
Marriage Location Albert Lea, Freeborn County, MN

Ingebrigt Madsen was born May 4, 1837 in Hafslo parish, Sogn og Fjordane fylke, Norway to Mads Iversen Tvedt and Ragnild Hansdatter Grov. He left the parish March 21, 1861 with his widowed mother and half sister to come to America.

He was enlisted under the name of Albert Mikkelsen at Madison, Dane County, WI, by Captain Charles Gustafson. He joined up on January 21, 1862, for a 3-year term of service in Company F of the 15th WI. The men of the company called themselves "KK's Protectors" in honor of the 15th's first Lieutenant Colonel, Kiler K. Jones.

Albert was mustered into Federal service at the rank of Private (Menig) on January 27, 1862, at Camp Randall near Madison, WI. At the time the Army recorded him as being a 23 year old unmarried resident of Madison and noted that he stood "5 feet 5 inches tall" with "blue eyes" and "light" colored complexion and hair.

After several weeks spent learning to be a soldier at Camp Randall, Private Mikkelsen departed for the war with his company and regiment on March 2, 1862. He was present that spring at the siege and capture of Island No. 10, in Tennessee and participated in the raid on Union City, TN. That summer he was on campaign with the 15th in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama until he became sick and was left in a U.S. Army hospital at Humbolt, TN, or at Iuka, MS, starting August 20, 21, or 25, 1862.

Private Mikkelsen was absent sick from the 15th for about a year, spending time in Army hospitals at Tuscumbia, AL, and at Nashville and Knoxville, TN. He was recorded as having been "left sick with the [wagon supply] train" on December 25, 1862, and as being sick in a hospital in Nashville on December 26, 1862.

Private Mikkelsen did not return to Company F until August 1863. He was then present with his regiment during the September 19-20, 1863, fighting at Chickamauga, GA -- the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War. He was one of the few who survived this battle unharmed (the 15th suffered 63% casualties at Chickamauga). In his pension application he stated that from his return to the regiment until he was mustered out a year and a half later he was continually excused by the Surgeon from all duty due to disability. As a result it is unlikely that Private Mikkelson took an active part in the fighting at Chickamauga.

It is likely that Private Mikkelsen served with the regiment during the Confederate siege of Chattanooga, TN, which began right after the battle. The siege resulted in severe shortages of medicine, food, and firewood which, together with cold, wet weather, caused much suffering, sickness, and death. The Confederate siege was finally broken by the Union Army's victorious charge up Mission Ridge on November 25, 1863, which the 15th, but probably not Private Mikkelsen, took part in.

Starting right after Mission Ridge the 15th was engaged in almost non-stop marching and counter-marching all over eastern Tennessee 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. Private Mikkelsen's role during this time is unclear.

Starting in May 1864, the 15th participated in the famous campaign led by U.S. Major General William T. Sherman to capture Atlanta, GA. This 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 50% casualties, including 29 soldiers who were captured. Most of them ended up dying of malnutrition-related diseases in the infamous Confederate prison camp at Andersonville, GA. Private Mikkelsen's role in these fights is not clear.

The 15th also took part in the fighting at Kenesaw Mountain, GA, on June 23; before Atlanta on July 22; at 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 1864, the 15th was briefly assigned to Provost (police) duty in Chattanooga in early October. This was followed by several months of guarding a railroad bridge at Whitesides, TN, near Chattanooga. Some of the 15th's soldiers felt that this was the easiest duty of their war service. Once again, Private Mikkelsen's role in these activities is not clear.

Private Mikkelsen was mustered out of Federal service with an honorable discharge along with most of the rest of Company F on January 13, 1865, at Chattanooga, TN, at the expiration of his 3-year term of service.

After returning from the war, Albert worked as a farmer and moved to Freeborn County, MN. He married Mary Ingebrigtson (Brickson) on November 28, 1868, in Albert Lea, MN. Together, they had at least six children, including: Mattie Roggine (1869), Betsey Caroline (1870), Ellen Marie/Lina (1872), Olivia Helene (1875), and Roda Bertine (1877), and Ida Tonette (1879).

In 1876, he applied for an Invalid (disability) Pension due to a "Liver complaint" he claimed to have contracted during his service in the 15th WI. In an affidavit dated May 4, 1877, he stated the following:

"...since my return home from the service and during all the time since my discharge I have been able to do but little work, and for 6 months last past I have been confined most of the time to my bed on account of the continuance of said disability."

In August 1883, his wife applied for a pension as a soldier's widow. In her application she stated that her husband had recently died because he:

"...in the line of his duty contracted Neuralgia and Disease of the Liver..."

 

Sources: Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett, 1894, Decorah, IA; Civil War Pension 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); Hafslo parish register #A5, born and baptised, p. 19, #A18, out-migrated, p. 53, digitalarkivet.no; 1880 Census, Roll: 620, Family History Film: 1254620, Page: 89C, Enumeration District: 096, Image: 0180; findagrave.com; photo and genealogical data from Milt Brickson and genealogical data from Tove D. Johansen and from Dee Ann Grimsrud, MLIS, CGRS.


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