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Sam Samson

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
The Scandinavian Regiment

Database Record Change Request

Name at Enlist

Sam Samson

Birth Name
Other Names

Samuel; Samson S. Njos


19 Oct 1833 – 7 Feb 1913

Birth Place

Njos farm, Bergen stift

Birth Country


Resident of Muster-In

Leeds, Columbia County, WI

Company at Enlistment


Rank at Enlistment


Muster Date

13 Feb 1862

Death Location

Nelson County, ND




Berret (Betsey) Amfinson

Spouse Lived


Married On


Marriage Location

Freeborn County, MN

Sam Samson was born on Njos farm in Bergen stift in Norway on October 19, 1833. He was initially named Samson S. Njos, but an error at enlistment in 1861 changed his name to Samuel Samson. In Norway, he worked as a farmer, fisherman, and sailor. He immigrated to America in 1861 at the age of 28.

Samson joined the WI 15th Infantry, Company H. The men of the company called themselves “Heg’s Rifles” in honor of the 15th commander, Colonel Hans C. Heg. They were also known as the “Voss Company” because of a large number of them who were from the Voss region of Norway.

The army listed him as living in Leeds, Columbia County, WI. He enlisted for three years on October 2, 1861 at Madison, WI, and mustered there on February 13, 1862 as a Private (Menig) and Drummer. In total, he served in over twenty battles. He was wounded below the left knee at Chickamauga, GA on September 19, 1863, and sent to hospital. According to the Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota:

He was saved from a prison only by the severity of his wound, which was so neglected that it became dangerous to his life…He refused absolutely to have his leg amputated, and finally, after two years on crutches, recovered the use of it sufficiently to begin to walk unsupported.

On February 9, 1865, he was sent north to Harvey hospital in Madison. He was discharged from the service there for his wounds on January 9, 1865.

After the war, he first settled in Freeborn County, MN where he married Berret (Betsey) Amfinson in 1865. She was also born in Norway and had immigrated to the U.S. in 1858. They then moved to Nelson County, ND, where he farmed 320 acres of land. Sam and Betsey had 10 children: Mary Ann, Andrew, Sophia A., Bernhard, John, Sophia, Bertina, Theodore, Andrew, and an unnamed infant.


Sources: Series 1200: Records of Civil War Regiments, 1861-1900, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, box 76-10; Regimental muster and descriptive rolls, 1861-1865, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, vol.20, p.118; Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett (Decorah, Iowa, 1894), p.572; Oberst Heg og hans gutter, Waldemar Ager, 1916, Fremad Pub. Co., Eau Claire, WI, p.310; Nordmaendene i Amerika, Martin Ulvestad, 1907, History Book Co., Minneapolis, MN, p.327; Blaine Hedberg, NAGC&NL; 1875 MN Census, Roll #MNSC_7, line 37, p.457; 1900 U.S. Census, Roll: 1230, Page: 9B, Enumeration District: 0101, FHL microfilm: 1241230;; Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota (Geo. A Ogle & Co., 1900), p.1000.