Christian E. Tandberg
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|Name at Enlist||Christian E. Tandberg|
|Lived||Jan 1830 - 1911|
|Resident of Muster-In||Oconomowoc, Waukesha County, WI|
|Company at Enlistment||D|
|Rank at Enlistment||Second Lieutenant|
|Muster Date||14 Jan 1862|
|Burial Location||Greenwood Cemetery, Monroe, Green County, WI|
|Spouse||Anna H. Anderson|
|Spouse Lived||Jun 1836-1919|
Christian E. Tanberg was born in Norway in January 1830. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1852. Christian married Anna H. Anderson two years later in 1854. She had immigrated in 1843. They had two children before the war, George (1859) and Albert (1862).
At the recommendation of Colonel (Oberst) Hans C. Heg, the 15th’s commander, the Governor of WI commissioned Christian E. Tandberg as the 2nd Lieutenant (Løytnant, third-in-command) of Company D. The commission was issued on January 15, 1862 for a 3-year term of service with Tandberg’s rank to be effective from January 14, 1862. The men of the company called themselves the “Norway Wolf Hunters.” They were also known as the “Waupun Company” because a number of them were residents of that WI town.
2nd Lieutenant Tandberg was mustered into the Federal Army at that rank on February 13, 1862 at Camp Randall near Madison, Dane County, WI. At the time he was 32 years old and married. He listed his residence as Oconomowoc, Waukesha County, WI. At the time the commander of Company D was Captain Charles Campbell, the second-in-command was 1st Lieutenant Albert Skofstad, and the 1st Sergeant, who ran the company for the officers, was Lewis G. Nelson.
After less than 2 months at Camp Randall learning to be an officer and training his company’s men, Lieutenant Tandberg left there on March 2, 1862 with his company and regiment to join the war. From March 14-31, 1862, he was on “detached service” at the settlement of Birds Point, MO on the Mississippi River. On March 28, 1862, Captain Campbell resigned his commission leaving command of Company D to 1st Lieutenant Skofstad. 2nd Lieutenant Tandberg would then have taken part in the final week of the successful siege of Island No. 10 on the Mississippi River in TN, which surrendered to Federal forces on April 8, 1862.
On April 30, 1862, 1st Sergeant Nelson was commissioned as the new 1st Lieutenant of Company D. Starting May 14, 1862, 2nd Lieutenant Tandberg was absent from the regiment on “20 days sick leave” at his home in Oconomowoc. When he rejoined the 15th it was 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.
Lieutenant Tandberg 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. In November 1862, 1st Lieutenant Nelson began serving as the 15th’s Acting Quartermaster, leaving Lieutenant Tandberg as second-in-command of Company D.
On December 26, 1862, Lieutenant Tandberg 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 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 was there that the 15th first suffered serious battle casualties, and was cited for bravery. One of the casualties was Lieutenant Tandberg, who on the morning of December 31st was wounded in action and captured along with 2nd Lieutenant John N. Brown of Company E.
After his capture Lieutenant Tandberg was transported to Atlanta, GA where he was listed by the Confederates as a prisoner of war on March 1, 1863. He was then transported to VA where he was released to Federal authorities on April 7, 1863 at City Point.
Lieutenant Tandberg rejoined the 15th on April 24, 1863, at its camp near Murfreesboro, TN. Company D was then under the command of Captain Skofstad and 1st Lieutenant Nelson. However, on May 1, 1863, 1st Lieutenant Nelson was appointed as the 15th’s Acting Adjutant, a position he was shortly thereafter commissioned in by the Governor of WI. And on May 2, 1863, Captain Skofstad was assigned by Col. Heg to be Brigade Inspector of the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Division of the 20th Army Corps (Army of the Cumberland).
In response, on June 3, 1863, the Governor of WI commissioned 2nd Lieutenant Tandberg as the new 1st Lieutenant of Company D, with rank from May 27, 1863. Tandberg was mustered into the Federal Army as a 1st Lieutenant to date from June 1, 1863. On the same date Sergeant Nels G. Tufte was commissioned by the Governor as the new 2nd Lieutenant of Company D. With Captain Skofstad assigned to Brigade duties, 1st Lieutenant Tandberg commanded Company D, with Lieutenant Tufte as second-in-command.
It is believed to be about this time that Lieutenant Tandberg had the portrait (shown above) taken, and that this was the photo Colonel Heg mentioned enclosing, along with one of 1st Lieutenant Andrew Clement, in his June 11, 1863, letter home to Mrs. Heg.
1st Lieutenant Tandberg did not command Company D for very long. On June 23, 1863, Captain August Gasman was ordered to leave Island No. 10 where Company I was doing guard duty and travel to TN to take command of Company D. Starting June 23, 1863, the regiment took part in U.S. Major General William S. Rosecrans’ Tullahoma campaign. On July 3, 1863, the 15th went into camp at Winchester, Franklin County, TN, for 6 weeks. It was there that Captain Gasman is believed to have joined Company D. In August, 1863, Lieutenant Tandberg was granted a leave of absence. In Buslett’s 1895 history of the 15th it is noted that Tandberg stayed away on leave too long and was briefly listed as being “absent without leave”.
On August 17, 1863, the 15th left Winchester to participate in General Rosecrans’ Chickamauga campaign. Lieutenant Tandberg is not believed to have been present at the daring early morning crossing of the Tennessee River on August 28th, which the 15th led. However, he was back as second-in-command of Company D in time to take part in the September 19-20, 1863, fighting at Chickamauga, GA — the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War. There he was wounded in the “left hand” 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, including Captain Gasman, who was also wounded on the 19th.
After being wounded, Captain Gasman and 1st Lieutenant Tandberg were removed to a Federal Army hospital, leaving Company D in command of 2nd Lieutenant Tufte for the second day of the battle, and for some time afterward. According to one set of Army records, Lieutenant Tandberg resigned his commission on October 31, 1863 and left the Army due to “chronic gastritis from typhoid fever” contracted during the summer of 1862. However, in 1889 the U.S. War Department issued a notice that he had been formally “mustered out” by the Army due to his physical disabilities.
After the war, he was granted a pension of $3.75 per month because of a wound to his left hand. He and his wife had at least eleven children. The nine children born after the war are: Eva (1865), Charlie (1867), Willis (1869), Frank (1871), May (1875), Ernie (1877), Lettie (1879), Clayton (1881), and Irene (1885). He was elected Register of Deeds of Green County in 1872. They lived in Monroe, Green County, WI, then Janesville, Rock County, WI. He and his wife are buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Monroe, Green County, WI.
Sources: The Civil War Letters of Colonel Hans Christian Heg Theodore C. Blegen (Northfield, Minnesota, 1936); Oberst Heg og Hans gutter [Colonel Heg and His Boys] by Waldemar Ager (Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 1916); Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers] by Ole A. Buslett (Decorah, Iowa, 1894); Civil War Compiled Military Service Records by Office of Adjutant General of the United States (Washington, DC); Regimental Descriptive Rolls, Volume 20 by the Office of the Adjutant General State of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin, 1885); and, Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865, Volume 1 by the Office of the Adjutant General State of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin, 1886); 1860 Census, Roll: M653_1436, Page: 900, Image: 594, Family History Library Film: 805436; 1880 Census, Roll: 1428, Family History Film: 1255428, Page: 165D, Enumeration District: 141; 1900 Census, Roll: 1815, Page: 3A, Enumeration District: 0176, FHL microfilm: 1241815; findagrave.com.