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Bernhardt J. Madsen

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
The Scandinavian Regiment

Database Record Change Request

Name at Enlist

Bernhardt J. Madsen

Birth Name

Bernt J. Madsen

Other Names

Bernhardt; Bent; Bert


18 Aug 1840 –

Birth Place


Birth Country


Resident of Muster-In

Cambridge, Dane County, WI

Company at Enlistment


Rank at Enlistment


Muster Date

1 Oct 1861

Cause of Death

Acute cardiac dilitation

Death Location

Sawtelle, Los Angeles County, CA

Burial Location

Los Angeles National Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA


Doctor Bernhard Madson





Spouse Lived

Jan 1854-

Married On

ca. 1887

Bernhardt J. Madsen was born on August 18, 1840 in Norway. He immigrated about 1848 to WI.

Madsen enlisted as Bernt J. Madsen for 3 years in Company B of the 15th WI on October 1, 1861. The men of the company called themselves the Wergeland Guards in honor of Henrik Wergeland, the famous Norwegian writer and poet. Bernt was mustered into Federal service as a Private (Menig) at Camp Randall near Madison, Dane County, WI. At the time he was 22 years old and not married. His residence was listed as Cambridge, Dane County, WI.

At a date prior to the Battle of Chickamauga, GA, Private Madsen was promoted to 3rd Sergeant (Sersjant). He was with Company B at the September 19-20, 1863 Battle of Chickamauga in Georgia — the second bloodiest battle of the war. Sergeant Madsen survived the vicious fighting around Viniard’s Farm on the first afternoon of the battle, but was taken prisoner on the 20th near Brotherton Field during what is now called Longstreet’s Breakthrough. He was then held as a prisoner of war in Richmond, VA. After his release from prison, he mustered out of Federal service on January 27, 1865 at Madison, WI. This was nearly 2 months after the expiration of his 3-year term of service and the muster out of his company on December 1, 1864 at Chattanooga, TN.

After the war, Madsen married Ida circa 1887. They were living in California in 1888 when they had a daughter named Edna. In 1900, they were living in Darien, Fairfield County, CT. They moved back to California by 1910. Madsen lived in the Pacific Branch of the National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Sawtelle, Los Angeles County, CA. He died on October 17, 1912 of “acute cardiac dilitation” (probably cardiac dilation).


Sources: Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett (Decorah, Iowa, 1894); Oberst Heg og Hans gutter [Colonel Heg and His Boys], Waldemar Ager (Eau Claire, WI, 1916); Report of Missing From the 15th Regt. Wisconsin (Chattanooga, TN, October 16, 1863); Regimental Descriptive Rolls, Volume 20, Office of the Adjutant General State of Wisconsin (Madison, WI, 1885); Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865, Volume 1, Office of the Adjutant General State of Wisconsin (Madison, WI, 1886); U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, p.10032; Civil War Pension Index, Roll #T288_309; 1900 Census, Roll: 133, Page: 9A, Enumeration District: 0065, FHL microfilm: 1240133; U.S. Burial Registers, Military Posts and National Cemeteries, p.100.