Ole  Back

Wisconsin Historical Society, Iconography, ID 80043

Ole Back

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry

The Scandinavian Regiment

Name at Enlist Ole Back
Birth Name
Lived - 16 Jan 1863
Birth Place Øvre Rendalen, Hedmark fylke
Birth Country Norway
Residence at Muster-In Chicago, Cook County, IL
Company at Enlistment A
Rank at Enlistment Corporal
Muster Date 15 Nov 1861
Cause of Death wounds
Death Location Murfreesboro, TN

Ole Back was born at Øvre Rendalen, Hedmark fylke, Norway. He joined the WI 15th Infantry, Company A. The men of the company called themselves the "St. Olaf's Rifles." They were also known as the "Sailor Company" because of the large number of seamen in its ranks, and as the "Chicago Company" because so many of its members were residents of that city.

The army listed Back as living in Chicago, IL, and unmarried. He enlisted for three years on October 11, 1861 at Chicago, and mustered at Madison, WI on November 15, 1861 as Corporal (Korporal). He was promoted to Sergeant (Sersjant) on January 16, 1863.

Sergeant Back had been a soldier in Norway before he came to America, and he wrote home to tell his family he had gone to war:

Birds Point the 13th of March 1862.

Dear brother!
"…So what do you think brother? Now I am again a soldier and that in a country where war
is on. It really hurts me to tell this, but as an obedient son and brother I look upon it as my
plight. This is so much, so that you know where I am, if I should be so unfortunate to fall in
the war."

He was severely wounded in Battle of Stones River, TN on December 31, 1862, and sent to the hospital in Murfreesboro, TN where he died of his wounds on January 16, 1863.


Sources: Series 1200: Records of Civil War Regiments, 1861-1900, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, Archives, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, boxes 76-3, 77-8; Regimental Muster and Descriptive Rolls, 1861-1865, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, Archives, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, vol. 20, p. 14; Regimental Muster and Descriptive Rolls, 1861-1865, compiled circa 1885, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, Archives, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, vol. 20, p. 10; Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett, 1894, Decorah, IA, p. 346; Nordmændene i Amerika, Martin Ulvestad, 1907, History Book Co., Minneapolis, MN, p. 259; Oberst Heg og hans Gutter, Waldemar Ager, 1916, Fremad Pub. Co., Eau Claire, WI, p. 161 (photo), p. 291; Wisconsin in the War of the Rebellion, Wm. DeLoss Love, 1866, Church and Goodman, Chicago, IL, p. 1081; www.wisconsinhistory.org; “Norwegians fighting for Freedom in America: Why Scandinavians had their own Regiment in the Civil War of 1861 – 65”, Ådne Løvstad.

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