Hans C. Sorenson
Database Record Change Request
|Name at Enlist|
Hans C. Sorenson
Hans Christian Sørensen Aashammer
01 Jul 1826 – 04 Apr 1894
Gjerpen parish, Telemark
|Resident of Muster-In|
Whitewater, Walworth County, WI
|Company at Enlistment|
|Rank at Enlistment|
01 Jan 1862
|Cause of Death|
Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, WI
Lakeview Cemetery, Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, WI
Søren Christiansen Aashammer
22 Nov 1868
Elk Mound, Dunn County, WI
Hans C. Sorenson was enlisted in Company C of the 15th WI by Captain Fredrick Berg in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, WI on October 22 or 25 or 28, 1861 for a 3-year term of service. The Army consistently misspelled his name as Sorensen or Sörensen.
The men of Company C called themselves the “Norway Bear Hunters,” but they were also known as the Color Company because the regimental Color Guard was attached to their company. Hans was mustered into Federal service at the rank of Private (Menig) on January 1, 1862 at Camp Randall near Madison, Dane County, WI. At the time the Army recorded him as being 34 years old, not married, and a resident of Whitewater, Walworth County, WI.
After 2 months at Camp Randall learning to be a soldier, Private Sorenson left there on March 2, 1862 with his company and regiment to join the war. From then until June 1862, he was listed as “present.” 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.
Private Sorenson was reported as being sick at Island No. 10 on June 11, 1862. As a result he was left behind when Company C and 7 other companies of the 15th left there that day to take part in a summer campaign through TN, MS, and AL. However, starting the next day Private Sorenson was granted a “sick furlough” until July 1, 1862, which allowed him to recover from his illness at home. According to Buslett’s 1895 history of the 15th WI, Private Sorenson was “in Pine Lake, WI, but stayed away too long.” As a result he was listed as “absent without leave since August 1” until he returned sometime in November or December 1862.
Private Sorenson was back in time to participate in 15th’s desperate charge upon a Confederate artillery battery at Knob Gap, TN, just south of Nashville in late December 1862. There the 15th captured a brass cannon. He then fought at the long, cold, wet, and bloody Battle of Stone River, TN, also called the Battle of Murfreesboro, on December 30-31, 1862. It is there that the 15th first suffered serious battle casualties and was cited for bravery. The following is also from Buslett:
“After the battle [US Major] General [William S.] Rosecrans issued an order to the various regiments’ commanders to submit to headquarters a list of one sergeant, two corporals and four or five privates in each company (altogether no more than six from each company), who had shown the greatest courage and ability during the battle. These would be entered on the Roll of Honor.”
Because of his conduct in the Battle of Stones River, the 15th commanding officer, Colonel Hans C. Heg, submitted his name to headquarters. Private Sorenson was subsequently entered on the Roll of Honor for the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 20th Army Corps. On April 10, 1863, he was listed as “absent on detached service with the Light Battalion formed from those placed on the Roll of Honor.”
In August and September 1863, Private Sorenson participated in General Rosecrans’ Chickamauga campaign. He is believed to have been present at the daring early morning crossing of the Tennessee River on August 28th, which the 15th led. He was definitely present at the September 19-20, 1863 fighting at Chickamauga, GA — the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War. There Private Sorenson “received a gun shot wound in the elbow of the right arm the ball passing into and through the joint while standing in line of battle loading and firing at the enemy” 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.
Private Sorenson was briefly treated in the Army Field Hospital at Crawfish Springs, GA before being sent to Army Hospital No. 1 in Murfreesboro, TN. On November 30, 1863, he was granted a 30-day furlough to recover at home. At the end of that time he reported for duty in Madison, WI.
Starting in January 1864, Private Sorenson is listed as being at the Harvey General Hospital in Madison, WI. He remained in WI for the rest of his Army service. On December 28, 1864, Private Sorenson was honorably discharged from the Army at Madison, WI due to his disabilities. This was only days away from the end of his 3-year term of service. His discharge papers listed him as “35 years of age, 6 feet high, fair complexion, blue eyes, dark hair, and by occupation when enlisted a Farmer” and “one half” disabled.
In 1868, he married Olena Oleson (parents Ole and Berte Olesen) in Elk Mount, WI. In 1878, while working in Eau Claire, WI, as a grocer, Hans Sorenson applied for an Invalid’s Pension. He claimed that he had been unable to resume his pre-war occupation of Blacksmith due to the gunshot wound. He was subsequently awarded a pension of $10 per month, which he received until he drowned in 1894.
Sources: Civil War Compiled Military Service Records, Office of Adjutant General of the United States (Washington, DC); Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], 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); 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. 172, ID 2285; genealogical data provided by Ms. Sid Sorenson.