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Gilbert Paulson

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
The Scandinavian Regiment

Database Record Change Request

Name at Enlist

Gilbert Paulson

Birth Name

ca. 1837 – 01 Apr 1864

Resident of Muster-In

Manitowoc County, WI

Company at Enlistment


Rank at Enlistment


Muster Date

12 Dec 1861

Cause of Death

Chronic diarrhea

Death Location

Prison No. 3, Danville, VA

Gilbert Paulson was enlisted in Company F of the 15th WI by Captain Charles Gustafson in Manitowoc County, WI on October 25, 1861 for a 3-year term of service. The men of the company called themselves K.K.’s Protectors after the 15th’s first Lieutenant Colonel Kiler K. Jones. “F” was also known as the Valdres Company because a large number of its members hailed from the Valdres region of Norway. Gilbert was mustered into Federal service as a Private (Menig) on December 12, 1861 at Camp Randall near Madison, Dane County, WI. At the time he was recorded as being 24 years old, blue eyes, and 5 feet 8 1/2 inches tall. His residence was listed as Manitowoc County, WI, and his occupation as farmer.

Private Paulson was appointed to the rank of Corporal (Korporal) in Company F on January 1, 1862. After several months at Camp Randall learning to be a soldier, Corporal Paulson left there in early March 1862 with his company and regiment to join the war. From then until September 1863, 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. That summer he would have been with the 15th on the campaign though TN, MS, and AL. In August and September he would have participated in the grueling 400-mile retreat with General Buell up to Louisville, KY, with the last 2 weeks being on half rations and short of water. He would have been present at the October 8, 1862, Battle of Perryville, KY, which is also called the Battle of Chaplin Hills. In late December, he 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 have also fought at the long, cold, wet, and bloody Battle of Stone River, TN, also called the Battle of Murfreesboro, at the end of December 1862. It is there that the 15th first suffered serious battle casualties, and was cited for bravery. Corporal Paulson was wounded at some point during the battle; the official records note “nature and location of wound not stated.”

In August and September 1863, Corporal Paulson 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 present at the September 19-20, 1863, Battle of Chickamauga, GA — the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War. He survived the vicious fighting around Viniard’s Farm on the first afternoon, but was taken prisoner around midday on the 20th during Longstreet’s Breakthrough. Some 63% of the 15th’s soldiers who were at Chickamauga were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner. Corporal Paulson was transported to Richmond, VA where he was confined in prison beginning September 29, 1863. He was sent to Prison No. 3 in Danville, VA on December 12, 1863.

On March 4, 1864, Corporal Paulson was admitted to the prison hospital, where he died of “chronic diarrhoea” in early April 1864.


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); Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865, Volume I, Office of the Adjutant General State of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin, 1886).