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Peter Peterson

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
The Scandinavian Regiment

Database Record Change Request

Name at Enlist

Peter Peterson

Birth Name

Peder Pedersen Teigen

Other Names

Peter Petersen, Peder Pederson Teigen


01 Feb 1839 – 7 Nov 1932

Birth Place

Teigen Farm, Hafslo

Birth Country


Resident of Muster-In

Primrose, Dane County, WI

Company at Enlistment


Rank at Enlistment


Muster Date

16 Nov 1861

Death Location

Old Soldiers Home, Lisbon, ND

Burial Location

Military Section, Old Soldiers Home Cemetery, Lisbon, ND


Christenca Torbjornsdatter


Peder Pederson

Father Lived




Married On

Jan 1865

Marriage Location

Crawford County, WI

Peder Pederson Teigen was enlisted under the name Peter Peterson in Company B of the 15th WI by Captain Ole C. Johnson on October 16, 1861 for a 3-year term of service. The men of Company B called themselves the “Wergeland Guards” in honor of the famous Norwegian writer and poet Henrik Wergeland. Peter was mustered into Federal service at the rank of Private (Menig) on November 16, 1861 at Camp Randall near Madison, Dane County, WI. At the time he was listed as not married and as being 20 and 21 years old. His residence was recorded as Primrose Township, Dane County, WI.

On January 14, 1862, the men of Company B were issued Belgian rifle muskets. On March 2, 1862, after 3 and 1/2 months at Camp Randall learning to be a soldier, Private Peterson left there with his company and regiment to join the war. From then until May 1864, he was listed as “present” with the 15th. As such he would have participated in the successful siege of Island No. 10 on the Mississippi River in TN and the surprise raid on Union City, TN in March and April 1862.

That summer Private Peterson would have been with the 15th on campaign through TN, MS, and AL. In August and September he would have participated in the grueling 400-mile retreat with U.S. Major General Don Carlos Buell up to Louisville, KY, with the last 2 weeks being on half rations and short of water. He would then have been present at the October 8, 1862 fighting at Perryville, Boyle County, KY, which is also called the Battle of Chaplin Hills. While this was the 15th’s first big battle, it emerged without any fatalities.

On December 26, 1862, Private Peterson 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 then have fought in the long, cold, wet, and bloody Battle of Stone River, TN, also called the Battle of Murfreesboro, which started on December 30, 1862 and ran into early January 1863. It was there that the 15th first suffered serious battle casualties, and was cited for bravery.

The 15th then camped in the Murfreesboro area for the next 6 months, except for 2 weeks in February when it was sent to Franklin, TN. In early April 1863, Private Peterson was assigned to duty as an “orderly” at the 15th’s regimental headquarters. Beginning April 20, 1863, he was assigned to duty as a “teamster” with the regiment. As such he probably drove a wagon pulled by a team of horses or mules. Starting June 23, 1863, the regiment took part in General Rosecrans’ Tullahoma campaign. On July 3, 1863, it went into camp at Winchester, Franklin County, TN for 6 weeks.

On August 17, 1863, the 15th left Winchester to take part in General Rosecrans’ Chickamauga campaign. Private Peterson probably was present at the daring early morning crossing of the Tennessee River on August 28th, which the 15th led. He probably was also present at the September 19-20, 1863, fighting at Chickamauga, GA — the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War — though it is doubtful that as a teamster he took an active part in the fighting. Some 63% of the 15th’s soldiers who were at Chickamauga were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner.

Private Peterson would have then served with the regiment during the Confederate siege of Chattanooga, TN, which began right after the battle. The siege caused severe shortages of food, medicine which, together with cold, wet weather, caused much suffering, sickness, and death. The Confederate siege was finally broken by the Union Army’s victorious charge up Mission Ridge on November 25, 1863, which the 15th took part in. In December 1863, Private Peterson was relieved of duty as a teamster and returned to the ranks of Company B.

Starting right after Mission Ridge the 15th was engaged in almost non-stop marching and counter-marching all over eastern TN throughout the winter of 1863/1864. By many original accounts, this was the worst period of the regiment’s 3-year term of service. Poor rations, inadequate clothing and shelter, and unseasonably cold weather made these months nearly unbearable.

Starting in May 1864, the 15th participated in U.S. Major General William T. Sherman’s famous campaign to capture Atlanta, GA. This campaign was marked by almost daily marching and/or combat for 4 months. The 15th took part in the fighting at Rocky Face Ridge, GA in early May; the bloody Battle of Resaca, GA on May 14-15; and the disastrous Battle of Pickett’s Mill (often called Dallas or New Hope Church) on May 27, 1864. There the 15th suffered 50% casualties. One of them was Private Peterson, who received a “slight flesh wound lower third of right arm” from “grape shot” fired from a Confederate cannon.

On June 12, 1864, Private Peterson was admitted to Hospital No. 106 in Louisville, KY. He left there on August 10, 1864 and was admitted to the Harvey U.S. Army General Hospital in Madison, WI on August 12, 1864. He was a patient there until he was “returned to duty” on September 19, 1864.

After a rest following the capture of Atlanta in early September 1864, the 15th was briefly assigned to Provost (police) duty in Chattanooga starting in early October 1864. Private Peterson rejoined the regiment at some point in late September or early October 1864. The 15th then spent several months guarding a railroad bridge at Whitesides, TN near Chattanooga. This was considered by some of the soldiers as the easiest duty of their entire war service.

Private Peterson was mustered out of Federal service along with most of the other surviving members of Company B on December 2, 1864 at Chattanooga, upon the end of their 3-year terms of service. At muster out the Army noted that he was due $100 in bounty money. However, their return to WI was delayed until the end of the month. This was due to the final offensive of the Confederate Army of the TN, which cut the railroad line from Chattanooga to Nashville that they needed to take to reach WI. The war itself came to an end some 4 months later with the surrender of the Confederate Armies.

After being mustered out, Peter Peterson returned to WI in January 1865. Within a year he got married and with his wife took up farming in Freeman Township, Bad Ax (now Vernon) County, WI. There they had 8 children, including: Anna (1874-1875); Anna (1876-1879); Peter O.; Christian; Eric; and John. When they retired from farming in 1902, Peter and his wife moved from Freeman to Chaffee, ND, to live with their son Peter O. Peterson. Later they moved into the Old Soldiers Home, which noted that he was receiving a $75 per month veterans pension from the government. They both died and were buried there.

Sources: Civil War Compiled Military Service Records by Office of Adjutant General of the United States (Washington, DC); Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers] by Ole A. Buslett (Decorah, Iowa, 1894); Regimental Descriptive Rolls, Volume 20 Office of the Adjutant General State of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin, 1885); Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865, Volume I, Office of the Adjutant General State of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin, 1886); Genealogical data provided by his great granddaughters Glenda Jo Peterson Maynard and Joan Tabak, by Curt and Kenneth Kolstad, and by Dan Boyle.