Nils  Helgeson

Nils Helgeson

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry

The Scandinavian Regiment

Name at Enlist Nils Helgeson
Birth Name Niels Nielsen / Engereie
Other Names Nels Helgeson Hefta, Nels Hefta Nelson, Nels H.
Lived 5 May 1840 - 16 Dec 1913
Birth Place Eggedal, Sigdal, Buskerud
Birth Country Norway
Residence at Muster-In Worth Co, IA
Company at Enlistment K
Rank at Enlistment Private
Muster Date 11 Feb 1862
Cause of Death endocarditis, myocarditis
Death Location White Bear Lake (Starbuck), Pope Co, MN
Burial Location London and Deer Creek Cemetery, Worth Co, IA
Mother Anne Cathrine Larsdatter Fossnæs
Mother Lived 8 Aug 1805-abt 1852
Father Helge Nilsen Kopseng (Hefta)
Father Lived 25 Feb 1813-16 May 1891
Immigration 1852
Spouse Birthe Larsdatter Bidne
Spouse Lived 6 Dec 1832-5 May 1893
Married On 11 Sep 1863
Marriage Location Winneshiek Co, IA

Nils Helgeson was born on the Engereie farm in Norway and left Sigdal parish with his parents and sister May 6, 1852. He joined the WI 15th Infantry, Company K. The company called itself "Clausen's Guards" in honor of the 15th's first Chaplain, Claus L. Clausen. Most of the company was recruited from Scandinavian communities in Minnesota, and Iowa, with the rest from Wisconsin.

The army listed Helgeson as living in Worth County, IA, age 21, and unmarried. He enlisted for three years on January 18, 1862, in Worth County and mustered at Madison, WI, on February 11, 1862, as a Private (Menig). In his pension file affidavit he states he became ill in August 1862 , a day after standing for hours in the Green River (Kentucky) assisting the army supply train across. He was sick in Bowling Green, KY, in November 1862. He became unfit for service and was discharged for disability at Camp Dennison, OH, on June 22, 1863.

After his service, Nils married Birthe/Betsey and lived first in Worth Co, IA, then in Freeborn Co, MN.  They had at least six children:  Julianna Kathrine (1864-1955), Caroline (1866-1953), Nels Lauris/Lewis H. (1868-1945), Gurine Sofie/Sophia (1871-1960), Oline (1874-1875), and Johan Arndt/John (1875- 1952). Nils applied for a pension September 25, 1879.  He died December 16, 1913, and is buried in the London and Deer Creek Cemetery, Worth Co., IA.


Sources: Series 1200: Records of Civil War Regiments, 1861-1900, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, box 76-12; Regimental Muster and Descriptive Rolls, 1861-1865, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, vol. 20, p. 144; Det Femtende Regiment. Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett, Decorah, IA, 1894, p. 627; Oberst Heg og hans gutter, Waldemar Ager, 1916, Fremad Pub. Co., Eau Claire, WI, p. 317;; Civil War Pension Index, Roll #T288_210; U.S. Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, p.131; 1880 Census, Roll: 626, Family History Film: 1254626, Page: 529A, Enumeration District: 166, Image: 0787; Sigdal parish register #I 4, born and baptised, p. 40, #I 6/2, born and baptised, p. 150, #I 8, in- and out-migrated, p. 443, Modum parish register #3, born and baptised, p. 313, Voss parish register #A 12, born and baptised, p. 108,; ELCA records, state and US Censuses,; Norwegian Immigrants 1850 and Later, nos. 23833, 23834, 23835, 23836, 44860, database, NAGCNL; additional family information provided by great-granddaughter, Annette Nelson Hagopian.

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