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Gustav Olson

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
The Scandinavian Regiment

Database Record Change Request

Name at Enlist

Gustav Olson

Birth Name
Other Names

Gustav E. Olson Melby; Gustave; Gustaf


1 Jun 1834 – 5 Jul 1914

Birth Country


Resident of Muster-In

Decorah, Winneshiek County, IA

Company at Enlistment


Rank at Enlistment


Muster Date

29 Dec 1861

Death Location

Hill County, MT

Burial Location

Gilford Hill County Cemetery, Gilford, Hill County, MT


ca. 1861


Eliza J. O.

Spouse Lived

ca. 1852-

Married On

ca. 1878

Gustav Olson was born on June 1, 1834 in Norway. He immigrated to the U.S. circa 1861.

Olson joined the WI 15th Infantry, Company F. The men of the company called themselves “KK’s Protectors” in honor of the 15th’s first Lieutenant Colonel, Kiler K. Jones. “F” was also known as the Valdres Company because a large number of its members hailed from the Valdres region of Norway.

 The army listed him as living in Decorah, Winneshiek County, IA, age 27, and unmarried. He enlisted for three years on November 26, 1861 at Decorah, and mustered at Madison, WI on December 29, 1861 as a Private (Menig). Olson was left sick at Mississippi River Island No. 10, on June 11, 1862. He was missing on March 31, 1863 and listed as deserter. However, he was found at home in Decorah and was said to have been discharged from the service.

After the war, he relocated to MN. He married Eliza J. O. circa 1878. He went by the name Gustav E. Olson Melby. She was born about 1852 in OH to English parents. Between 1880 and 1910, they lived in Lund, Douglas County, MN. Together, they had 10 children, six of whom were still living in 1910. Their children included: Saul (1879), Ole (1881), Olga (1885), Edward (1888), Gustaf (1890) and Emma (1893). He relocated to MT and died in Hill County, MT. Eliza filed a pension in his name in August 1914. He is buried in Gilford Hill County Cemetery, Gilford, Hill County, MT. His headstone reads “Gustave Olson Melby Co F. 15 Wis. Inf.”

Sources: Series 1200: Records of Civil War Regiments, 1861-1900, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, box 76-8; Regimental muster and descriptive rolls, 1861-1865, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, vol.20, p.90; Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett (Decorah, Iowa, 1894), p.513; Oberst Heg og hans gutter, Waldemar Ager, 1916, Fremad Pub. Co., Eau Claire, WI, p.307; DGA; Civil War Pension Index, Roll #T288_355;; 1880 Census, Roll: 618, Family History Film: 1254618, Page: 418C, Enumeration District: 007, Image: 0521; 1900 Census, Roll: 762, Page: 7A, Enumeration District: 0042, FHL microfilm: 1240762; 1910 Census, Roll: T624_694, Page: 5A, Enumeration District: 0061, FHL microfilm: 1374707;