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Nels S. Olson

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
The Scandinavian Regiment

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Name at EnlistNels S. Olson
Birth NameNiels Olsen Solverød
Other Names Nels O. Solverud
Lived21 May 1839 - 1915
Birth PlaceSiljan, Telemark
Birth CountryNorway
Resident of Muster-InPine Lake, Waukesha County, WI
Company at EnlistmentD
Rank at EnlistmentPrivate
Muster Date10 Dec 1861
Death LocationPortage County, WI
Burial LocationOak Grove Cemetery, Amherst, Portage County, WI
MotherKari Isaksdatter
Mother Livedca. 1798-
FatherOle Andersen Solverød
Father Livedca. 1798-
Immigration2 Jul 1849
SpouseLouise Abrahamsdatter Nes
Spouse Lived1843- 1919
Married On20 Dec 1866
Marriage LocationScandinavia Lutheran Church, Scandinavia, WI

Niels Olsen Solverød was born at Siljan, Telemark, Norway, the son of Ole Andersen Solverød and Kari Isaksdatter. He came to America with his parents and three siblings on the Rupert, which sailed from Skien, Telemark, on May 13, 1849, and reached New York on July 2, 1849. In 1850, the family was living in Delafield, Waukesha County, WI. His siblings were Andrew (1830) and Isaac (1834). His father, Ole, worked as a farmer. On June 3, 1855, Nels was baptized at the Scandinavia Lutheran Church, Scandinavia, Waupaca County, WI.

Olson joined the WI 15th Infantry, Company D. The men of the company called themselves the “Norway Wolf Hunters.” They were also known as the “Waupun Company” because so many of its members were from Waupun.

The army listed him as living in Pine Lake, Waukesha County, WI, age 29, and married. He enlisted for three years on December 8, 1861, at Pine Lake, and mustered at Madison, WI, on December 10, 1861, as a Private (Menig). He was on leave and sick in Pine Lake from March 24 to May 24, 1862. Olson was left sick at Mississippi River Island No. 10 on June 11, 1862. He was found to be unfit for service and was discharged for disability on July 15, 1862.

After the war, Nels returned to Wisconsin and used the surname Solverud rather than Olson. He married Louise Abrahamsdatter Nes (1843-1919) on December 20, 1866, at Scandinavia Lutheran Church (where he also had his confirmation). If he was married previously, as stated in his enlistment, her name is unknown. In 1880, Nels and Louise were living with his parents and six children: C. Sophie (1870), E. Amanda (1870), Hannah (1873), Josephine (1875), Oscar (1876), and Leroy (1879). It is said that they had nine children in total. They later moved to Amherst, Portage County, WI. Solverud died in 1915 and Louise in 1919. They are both buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Amherst.

Sources: Series 1200: Records of Civil War Regiments, 1861-1900, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, boxes 76-6, 78-3; Regimental muster and descriptive rolls, 1861-1865, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, vol. 20, p. 62; Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett, 1894, Decorah, IA, p. 454; Oberst Heg og hans gutter, Waldemar Ager, 1916, Fremad Pub. Co., Eau Claire, WI, p. 302; Norwegian Immigrants to the United States. A Biographical Directory, 1825-1850. Volume Four 1849, Gerhard B. Naeseth and Blaine Hedberg, 2008, Anundsen Publishing Co., Decorah, IA, p. 59, ID 730; New York, Passenger and Immigration Lists, Microfilm Roll #80, Microfilm Serial #M237, Family Id #2708643;; U.S. Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, pp. 57-58 and pp. 517-518; U.S. Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, G&M_69, Roll Number: 69; 1850 Census, Roll: M432_1009, Page: 385B, Image: 300; 1870 Census, Roll: M593_1744, Page: 150B, Image: 304, Family History Library Film: 553243; 1880 Census, Roll: 1452, Family History Film: 1255452, Page: 192C, Enumeration District: 178; Civil War Pension Index, Roll #T288_444.