Skip Navigation

Gullick O. Tilden

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
The Scandinavian Regiment

Database Record Change Request

Name at Enlist

Gullick O. Tilden

Birth Name

Gullik Olsen Qvale


6 Jan 1840 – 14 Nov 1906

Birth Place

Qvale, Slidre parish, Oppland fylke

Birth Country


Resident of Muster-In

Nevada, Mower County, MN

Company at Enlistment


Rank at Enlistment


Muster Date

02 Mar 1862

Cause of Death


Death Location

Adams, Mower County, MN

Burial Location

Little Cedar Church Cemetery, Mower County, MN


Ingeborg Tollevsdatter Reien

Mother Lived



Ole Gullickson Beito

Father Lived





Engaborg Anderson Numedahl

Spouse Lived


Married On

27 Dec 1867

Marriage Location

Adams Township, Mower County, MN

The following is from Gullick’s obituary in the Mower County Transcript Weekly newspaper:

“He was born in Norway and left his native country with his parents in April, 1857, landing at Quebec after a voyage of five weeks [by sailing ship]. They came west and after stopping at Decorah [Iowa] a few weeks arrived in Adams township in July. They settled in section 2 where the father erected a log shanty 10×10 with sod roof and ground floor. After living in this for three years he built a good log house.”

A year after the log house was built, the American Civil War began and about a year after that Gullick volunteered to fight for his new homeland.

On March 1, 1862, Gullick O. Tilden was enlisted for a 3-year term of service in Company I of the 15th WI by 1st Lieutenant Iver Tjentland. The men of the company called themselves the “Scandinavian Mountaineers.” They were also known as the “Waupaca Company” because many of them were living there when they enlisted. Gullick was mustered into Federal service at the rank of Private (Menig) on March 2, 1862 at Camp Randall near Madison, Dane County, WI. At the time he was recorded by the Army as being 21 years old, not married, and a resident of Nevada, Mower County, MN.

That same day, and without any military training, Private Tilden left Wisconsin with his company and regiment to join the war. From then until September 1862, he was listed as “present” with Company I. As such he would have participated in the successful siege of Island No. 10 on the Mississippi River in Tennessee in March and April 1862. He would have also taken part in the surprise raid on Union City, TN in late March 1862.

On June 11, 1862, the 15th commander, Colonel Hans C. Heg, led 8 of the regiment’s 10 companies away from Island No. 10. Private Tilden remained behind with Companies I and G, which were assigned extended guard duty there. These 2 companies would not rejoin the rest of the regiment for some 15 months. During that time the other 8 companies participated in several strenuous campaigns as well as heavy fighting at Perryville, KY; Murfreesboro (Stones River), TN; and Chickamauga, GA.

Companies I and G initially camped across the Mississippi River from Island No. 10 on the Tennessee side at what was called New Madrid Bend or Isler’s Landing. There they were engaged for a time in capturing Confederate soldiers who had escaped when the island was captured. They were also involved in hunting down, sometimes on horseback, local groups of rebel guerrillas who were resisting the Union occupation. The area around Island No. 10 was considered to be unhealthy and many 15th soldiers became ill there, with several dying of disease. One of those who became sick was Private Tilden. The following is from a sworn statement he submitted with his post-war application for a pension:

“…on or about the 12th Day of July 1862 at Island No. 10 in the Mississippi River he was taken sick with the Chronic Diarrhea and Fever and ague, and [on or about August 22, 1862,] was sent to Mound City Hospital in Illinois some 12 miles above Cairo on the Ohio River.”

According to the 15th’s records, Private Tilden was transferred to a hospital at Mound City on September 17, 1862.

In early October 1862, his comrades back at New Madrid Bend were attacked just before dawn by 300 Confederate Cavalry troops. The attack was badly managed and quickly repulsed with virtually no loss among the defenders, but afterwards the Union camp was moved over to Island No. 10. There the 15th soldiers were safe from attack behind the Confederate-built fortifications with their 80 cannons. A drawing of the 15th’s camp on the island can be viewed by clicking HERE.

Gullick and his wife had 10 children, of which 9 survived to adulthood: Alick (Ole), born circa 1870; Anna, born circa April 1873; Andrew, born July 1874; Theodore Olson, born June 20, 1876 (died 1880); Emma, born circa 1879; Theodore, born August 24, 1881; Bertina, born October 1883; Rachel, born March 1886; Ida, born August 1888; and Genova, born May 1892.

In 1880, Gullick applied for a Civil War veteran’s Invalid [disability] Pension. In his application he stated he was a farmer and had been suffering from “Chronic diarrhea, lung difficulties, and liver complaints” since returning from the service, with the result that he was “about 4/5 disabled” for manual labor as a result of his time in the Army. For this the government awarded him a pension of $6 a month. In 1881, Gullick applied for an increase in his pension, and in 1889 the government started paying him $10 a month.

In 1893, Gullick was interviewed as part of a criminal investigation by the U.S. Commission of Pensions. It was pursuing allegations that members of a medical examining board in Iowa had accepted money for certifying pension applicants as having been disabled due to their military service. In an investigator’s report Gullick was described as”…a cool-headed, obstinate Norwegian…” whose statement, later retracted, could have been used to prove that 2 board members had committed fraud. It appears the charges were never brought to trial due to a statute of limitations problem.

In 1897, Gullick became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America under the name Gullick Olson. In 1900, he applied for another increase in his pension stating that he was still a farmer, but was no longer able to support himself by manual labor due to “Old Age, Heart trouble, and Severe Rheumatism.” It is not clear if his application was approved before he died 6 years later at age 66 due to “Paralysis.” The following is from his obituary in the Mower County Transcript Weekly:

“He engaged in farming and was also a dealer in agricultural machinery. The widow and nine children survive…[He] was a man prominent in township affairs. He was also a frequent delegate to county conventions. He was of friendly disposition and a good neighbor and husband and will be greatly missed in the circle where he was known.”

In 1908, Gullick’s wife applied for and received a pension as the widow of a Civil War veteran. It was providing her with $30 a month at the time of her death 16 years later.


Sources:  Civil War Compiled Military Service Records by Office of Adjutant General of the United States (Washington, DC); Civil War Compiled Veteran Pension Records, by Pension Office, Dept. of the Interior (Washington, DC); Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers] by 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); Genealogical data from his great great granddaughter, Carmel N. Edwards; Slidre parish register #3 born and baptised, p. 64, Vestre Slidre parish register #2, in- and out-migrated, p. 234,;  Mower County Transcript Weekly (Austin, Minnesota, November 21, 1906).