Torger  Torgerson

Torger Torgerson

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry

The Scandinavian Regiment

Name at Enlist Torger Torgerson
Birth Name Torger Ingebretson Langholt
Other Names Torge Torgersen
Patronymic Name Ingebretsen/Engebretsen
Lived 25 Jun 1843 - 03 Apr 1863
Birth Place Aamli, Berg in Brulanes parish, Vestfold fylke
Birth Country Norway
Residence at Muster-In Door County, WI
Company at Enlistment F
Rank at Enlistment Private
Muster Date 01 Mar 1862
Cause of Death Fracture of right thigh and chronic diarrhea
Death Location General Hospital No. 1, Murfreesboro, TN
Burial Location Grave 311, Section I, National Cemetery, Stone River Battlefield Park, TN
Mother Anne Sophia Hansdatter Aamli
Father Engebret Torgersen Langholt
Immigration 1853

Torger Ingebretsen was enlisted under the name Torger Torgerson for a 3-year term of service in Company F of the 15th WI by Lieutenant (Løitnant) Kalenbach. Torger joined up at Ephraim, Door County, WI, on February 22, 1862. Torger and his friend Charly Morbeck were 2 of the 4 men recruited by Kalenbach from the Moravian community there. The men of Company F called themselves K.K.'s Protectors in honor of the 15th's first Lieutenant Colonel, Kiler K. Jones. Torger was mustered into Federal service as a Private (Menig) on March 1, 1862, at Camp Randall near Madison, Dane County, WI. At the time he was listed as being a 17 year old unmarried farmer standing 5 feet 11 inches tall, with blue eyes and light colored complexion and hair. His residence was recorded as Door County, WI. That same day he wrote the following in a letter to his father in Door County:

"...we got to camp in the evening at 6 o'clock with a good welcome and with good spirits and good health. And in the near future we will start for Santeluis [St. Louis, Missouri]...you must no forget to pray for me, poor son, and so shall I not forget you, I pray to God the almighty that He will protect me and you until we are able to see each other again...."

The next day, after only 1 day at Camp Randall learning to be a soldier, Private Torgerson left for the war with his company and regiment. From then until December 1862, he was listed as "present" with the 15th. As such he would have participated in the successful siege of Island No. 10 on the Mississippi River in Tennessee and the surprise raid on Union City, TN, in March and April 1862. He described the events of May 17th at Island No. 10 in a June 5, 1862, letter to his father:

"I must now let you know that we celebrated our Norwegian Independence day on the 17th May here on Island No 10 and the Norske and U.S. Flags flew here the whole day and our company got together to get 2 Kager [kegs] of beer which we sent for from Cairo, and so we got off from drinking Mississippi water that day and we fired a salute with the cannons in the morning and evening and we had our new band here that day..."

That summer he would have been with the 15th on campaign through Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama. In August and September he would have participated in the grueling 400-mile retreat with General Buell up to Louisville, KY, with the last 2 weeks being on half rations and short of water.

Private Torgerson would have been present at the October 8, 1862, Battle of Perryville, KY, which is also called the Battle of Chaplin Hills. While this was the first big battle the 15th participated in, 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 Nashville. There the 15th captured a brass cannon. He is known to have 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. One of those casualties was Private Torgerson, who was wounded in action on December 31st. Another was his friend Charly Morbeck, who was shot and captured that same day, but released shortly thereafter.

The 15th camped in the Murfreesboro area for the next 6 months, except for 2 weeks in February when it was sent to Franklin, TN. However, Private Torgerson never returned to the regiment after being wounded. He and Charly Morbeck spent the first 3 months of 1863 in the same military hospital in Murfreesboro. From there Torger wrote the following in a letter to his family:

"...I know it will distress you to hear that I am not getting better, but we must put our faith in the Lord. He will do what is best, and if it is not the Lord's will that I see you again in this world, then I hope that we shall all be together again in Heaven..."

Private Torgerson died 3 days later at age 18 due to "Fracture of right thigh and Chronic Diarrhea."

In 1883, Torger's father applied for a pension based on his son's death in the service. Despite hiring lawyers in Wisconsin and Washington, D.C., his application was eventually rejected.

 

Sources: Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett, 1894, B. Anundsen, Decorah, IA; Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865, Volume I, compiled under direction of the Adjutant General, 1886, Deocrat Printin Co., Madison, WI; Genealogical data from Torger's first cousin 3 times removed, Ida Kay Orsted; military service and pension records, letters, and other genealogical data from Karen Morbeck Hayden; Brulanes parish record #I3, born and baptised, p. 146, #I4, in- and out-migrated, p 351), digitalarkivet.no.


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