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Jacob Nielsen

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
The Scandinavian Regiment

Database Record Change Request

Name at Enlist

Jacob Nielsen

Birth Name

Jacob Nielsen Nyhus


11 Apr 1819 – 23 Jun 1862

Birth Place

Grans, Hadeland, Oppland fylke

Birth Country


Resident of Muster-In

Norway, Racine County, WI

Company at Enlistment


Rank at Enlistment


Muster Date

02 Dec 1861

Cause of Death

Typhoid fever or malaria

Death Location

15th Wisconsin Hospital, Island No. 10, TN

Burial Location

Mississippi River National Cemetery, near Memphis, TN


Berthe Jacobsdatter Nyhuss

Mother Lived



Niels Larsen Nyhuss

Father Lived





Kari Nielsdatter Kjos

Spouse Lived


Married On

17 Nov 1842

Marriage Location


2nd Spouse

Kari Mikkelsdatter Baken

2nd Spouse Lived

24 Jan 1822-

2nd Marriage Date

19 Oct 1847

2nd Marriage Location


Jacob Neyhus Nielsen was born at the Nyhus farm in Grans, Hadeland, Oppland fylke in Norway. He enlisted in Company C of the 15th WI by Captain Fredrick R. Berg on November 5, 1861. He joined up under the name Jacob Nielsen for a 3-year term of service. Company C was the regiment color (flag) company, but its members called themselves the “Norway Bear Hunters.”

Jacob was mustered into Federal service at the rank of Private (Menig) on December 2, 1861 at Camp Randall near Madison, Dane County, WI. At the time the Army recorded him as being married and 43 years old, which made him one of the older men to serve in the regiment. His residence was listed as Norway, Racine County, WI where the family of the 15th’s commander, Colonel Hans C. Heg, lived.

On January 14, 1862, the men of the 15th WI were issued Belgian rifled muskets. On March 2, 1862, after 3 months at Camp Randall learning to be a soldier, Private Nielsen left there with his company and regiment to join the war. Company C was detailed to duty at the Mississippi River settlement of Bird’s Point, MO from mid-March until right after the fall of Island No. 10 on April 8, 1862. Company C then helped to occupy the island for the remainder of April into early June 1862. At some point during this period, Private Nielsen’s health began to deteriorate.

On June 11, 1862, Colonel Heg and 8 of the regiment’s 10 companies departed Island No. 10 to spend the summer campaigning through TN, MS, and AL. Company C was amongst those that left the island, but Private Nielsen remained behind “sick.” His health was remarked upon in a June 17, 1862 letter by Colonel Heg to his wife at home:

“The boys from near Waterford are all well except Jacob Nyhuus — who is sick at Island No. 10. He seems to be nearly crazy.”

A little over a week later, Private Nielsen passed away due to “typhoid fever.”

Private Nielsen was initially buried on Island No. 10 or across the Mississippi River at Isler’s Landing. Later his body and the bodies of other 15th soldiers buried there were removed to the national cemetery near Memphis, TN. At some point before or during this process the identity of many of them were lost, so they were reburied as ‘unknowns’ from Island No. 10 and Isler’s Landing.

Jacob Nielsen was the father of 2 children with his first wife: Niels Jacobsen Nyhuus, born April 25, 1842 or August 25, 1843; and Anders (Andrew) Jacobsen Nyhuus, born October 26, 1845 (who enlisted in the 43rd Wisconsin). Jacob was also the father of 6 children with his second wife: Christian Jacobsen Nyhuus, born July 7, 1848; Mikkel Jacobsen Nyhuus, born September 14, 1850; Julius, born March 26, 1856, Carl Jacob, born November 25, 1857; Guildbjor, born May 25, 1859; and Jacob, born November 13, 1862, after his father’s death.


Sources:  The Civil War Letters of Colonel Hans Christian Heg, Theodore C. Blegen (Northfield, MN, 1936); Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett (Decorah, IA, 1894); 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 I, Office of the Adjutant General State of Wisconsin (Madison, WI, 1886); great-great grandson Chuck Jacobson; genealogical data from Jacob Nielsen’s great grandson Bob Hanson, and from Tove D. Johansen; burial information from Robert ‘Bob’ Kittleson; Gran parish register #11, out-migrated, p. 1204,