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Charles M. Reese

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
The Scandinavian Regiment

Database Record Change Request

Name at Enlist

Charles M. Reese

Birth Name
Other Names

Riise; Carl Martin Reese


13 Aug 1824 –

Birth Place


Birth Country


Resident of Muster-In

Madison, Dane County, WI

Rank at Enlistment


Muster Date

1 Dec 1861


Feyer Kersten


Johan Christian Reese




Ida Coole

Spouse Lived

– 1863

Married On

11 Apr 1853

Marriage Location

Muskego, Waukesha County, WI

Charles M. Reese born in Copenhagen, Denmark on August 13, 1824 to Johan Christian Reese and Feyer Kersten. He was educated at a Latin school and then went to a university in Denmark. He joined the Danish army at age 24 and served for 3 years including in the Schleswig-Holstein War. He served as captain from 1849-1850 and was discharged in 1851.

Charles immigrated in May 1852 and settled in Rock County, WI. He first served as editor of Emigranten until 1854. In 1853, he married Ida Coole of Waukesha County, WI on April 11, 1853. Their marriage took place in Muskego, Wauskesha, WI. They had one child together named Harriet. They moved to Madison and edited the Norske Amerikaner until spring of 1860. Charles then moved to Chicago and established a paper called Echo from Scandinavia, which he ran until the beginning of the war.  Ida died in 1863.

When the war began, he enlisted on April 16, 1861 in I Company of the Illinois 24th Infantry. He was stationed at Alton, IL until June 1861. In July 1861, he was promoted to Orderly Sergeant and then First Lieutenant and Adjutant of the regiment.

Reese was then commissioned to the WI 15th Infantry as a Major on December 1, 1861, which he did until August 1862. He was sick for much of his time in uniform. He was then transferred to the staff of General George H. Thomas as a Staff Quartermaster. He mustered out in Nashville, TN on July 1865.

After the war, he stayed in Whiteside, TN and worked in coal mining. He owned part of the mine. In 1872, he moved back to Chicago. In 1874, he moved to Ottawa, La Salle County, IL and read law under Mayo & Widmer. Between 1877 and 1883, he served as a Justice of the Peace in Ottawa, IL. In May 1885, he moved to Streator, ran an insurance company, and worked as a Notary Public for western land deals.

Sources: Series 1200: Records of Civil War Regiments, 1861-1900, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, boxes 76-2, 78-1; Regimental muster and descriptive rolls, 1861-1865, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, vol.20, p.2; Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett (Decorah, IA, 1894), p.323; Lonn, p.252; Oberst Heg og hans gutter, Waldemar Ager, 1916, Fremad Pub. Co., Eau Claire, WI, p.289, photo, p.289; Lars Gjertveit, Bodo, Norway; Elmer Baldwin, History of La Salle County, Illinois, Vol.1 (Inter-State Publishing Co., 1886), p.643; Norwegian Newspapers in America, by Odd Severre Lovoll (Minnesota Historical Society, 2010), p.28; Wisconsin Marriage Records, Batch # M00331-9, GS Film # 1275596.