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Nels M. Tobiason

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
The Scandinavian Regiment

Database Record Change Request

Name at Enlist

Nels M. Tobiason

Birth Name

ca. 1842 – 02 Feb 1864

Resident of Muster-In

Oconomowoc, Waukesha County, WI

Company at Enlistment


Rank at Enlistment


Muster Date

8 Dec 1861

Cause of Death

Chronic diarrhea

Death Location

Richmond, RIchmond County, VA

Burial Location

National Cemetery, Richmond, RIchmond County, VA

Nels M. Tobiasen was enlisted in Company D of the 15th WI by Captain Charles Campbell on November 11, 1861 for a 3-year term of service. The men of the company called themselves the Norway Wolf Hunters. Nels was mustered into Federal service as a Private (Menig) on December 8, 1861 at Camp Randall near Madison, Dane County, WI. At the time he was 19 years old and not married. His residence was listed as Oconomowoc, Waukesha County, WI.

After several months at Camp Randall learning to be a soldier, Private Tobiasen left there in early March 1862, with his company and regiment to join the war. From then until September 1863, he was recorded as present. As such he would have been at the successful siege of Island No. 10 on the Mississippi River in TN and in the surprise raid on Union City, TN in March and April 1862. On May 1, 1862, Private Tobiasen was appointed as a Corporal (Korporal) in Company D. That summer he would have been with the 15th on campaign though TN, MS, and AL. 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. He would have been present at the October 8, 1862, Battle of Perryville, KY, which is also called the Battle of Chaplin Hills. In late December 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 would have also fought at the long, cold, wet, and bloody Battle of Stone River, TN, also called the Battle of Murfreesboro, at the end of December 1862. It is there that the 15th first suffered serious battle casualties and was cited for bravery.

In August and September 1863, Corporal Tobiasen participated in General Rosecrans’ Chickamauga campaign. He was present at the daring early morning crossing of the Tennessee River on August 28th, which the 15th led. He was also present at the September 19-20, 1863, Battle of Chickamauga in GA — the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War. There he was taken prisoner during the vicious fighting around Viniard’s Farm on the first afternoon. Some 63% of the 15th’s soldiers who were at Chickamauga were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner. Along with the other 15th soldiers taken prisoner, Corporal Tobiasen was marched by the Confederates to Tunnel Hill, GA and then transported by railroad train to Richmond, VA via Atlanta, GA. “M. Tabeason” died there 4 months later of ” chronic diarrhea.”

Sources: Ole A. Buslett, Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers] (Decorah, Iowa, 1894); Civil War Compiled Military Service Records, U.S. Adjutant General’s Office; Regimental Muster and Descriptive Rolls, Vol. 20, 1861-1865, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office.