Theodore K. Hundeby
Database Record Change Request
|Name at Enlist|
Theodore K. Hundeby
05 Dec 1842 or 1843 – 21 Nov 1915
Hundebo (Hundbu) farm, Hof, Hedmark
|Resident of Muster-In|
Worth County, IA
|Company at Enlistment|
|Rank at Enlistment|
11 Feb 1862
|Cause of Death|
Los Angeles, CA
1810- 25 Jan 1890
1807- 10 Mar 1884
Randi O. Medgaarden (Medgordon)
1852- 28 Aug 1928
02 or 03 Jan 1873
Silver Lake, Worth County, IA
Theodore K. Hundeby was enlisted in Company K of the 15th WI by Captain Claus Lauritz Clausen. Theodore was mustered into Federal service at the rank of Private (Menig) on February 11, 1862, at Camp Randall near Madison, Dane County, WI. At the time he was recorded as being 19 years old and not married. His residence was listed as Worth County, IA, where he had first settled in 1857.
Private Hundeby was appointed to the position of Wagoner (wagon master) on February 18, 1862. After less than a month at Camp Randall learning to be a soldier, Wagoner Hundeby left there on March 2, 1862, with his regiment to join the war. From then until January 1863, he was listed as “present” with the 15th. 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 through TN, MS, and AL. In July, he was on Provost (military police) duty. In August and September he would have participated in the grueling 400-mile retreat led by U.S. Major General Don Carlos Buell up to Louisville, KY, with the last 2 weeks being on half rations and short of water.
Wagoner Hundeby would also have been present at the October 8, 1862, fighting at Perryville, Boyle County, KY, which was also called the Battle of Chaplin Hills. While this was the 15th’s first big battle, it emerged without any fatalities. On October 27, 1862, Wagoner Hundeby was again detached on “Provost Marshal Duty.”
In late December 1862, Wagoner Hundeby may 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 was present at the long, cold, wet, and bloody Battle of Stones 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. One of the casualties was Private Hundeby, who suffered minor wounds while in action on December 31, 1862, and was afterwards sent to a hospital in Nashville, TN, to recover.
Beginning in February 1863, Wagoner Hundeby was listed on the 15th’s rolls at the rank of Private (Menig) After recovering from his wound, Private Hundeby served “on daily duty” as a nurse in the Nashville hospital from February 19, 1863 through April 1863. He returned to the 15th sometime in May or June 1863, and was then listed as “present” until November 1863.
In August and September 1863, Private Hundeby participated in the Chickamauga campaign led by U.S. Major General William S. Rosecrans. Private Hundeby 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, fighting at Chickamauga, GA — the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War. He survived the vicious fighting around Viniard’s Farm on the first afternoon, as well as the near capture of the regiment around midday on the 20th near Brotherton Field during Longstreet’s Breakthrough. Some 63% of the 15th’s soldiers who were at Chickamauga were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner.
Private Hundeby would have then served with the regiment during the Confederate siege of Chattanooga, TN, which began right after the battle. The siege resulted in severe shortages of medicine, food, and firewood which, together with cold, wet weather, caused much suffering, sickness, and death. The siege was finally broken by the Union Army’s victorious charge up nearby Mission Ridge on November 25, 1863, in which the 15th took part. However, starting November 21, 1863, Private Hundeby was detached from the 15th on recruiting service along with about 20 other men. This assignment was considered an honor, and many of those 20 had distinguished themselves at Chickamauga. It is believed Private Hundeby did his recruiting back in IA.
Starting right after Mission Ridge the 15th was engaged in almost non-stop marching and counter-marching all over Eastern TN throughout the winter of 1863/1864. By many original accounts, this was the worst period of the regiment’s 3-year term of service. Poor rations, inadequate clothing and shelter, and unseasonably cold weather made these months nearly unbearable. Private Hundeby returned to the 15th sometime in March or April 1864, after his recruiting assignment was over.
Starting in May 1864, Private Hundeby participated with the 15th in the famous campaign to capture Atlanta, GA, led by U.S. Major General William T. Sherman. This campaign was marked by almost daily marching and/or combat for 4 months. The 15th took part in the fighting at Rocky Face Ridge, GA in early May; at the bloody Battle of Resaca, GA on May 14-15; and at the disastrous Battle of Pickett’s Mill (often called Dallas or New Hope Church), GA on May 27, 1864. It was there that the 15th suffered 50% casualties, including some 25 men who were captured and sent to the infamous Andersonville Prison Camp where most of them died. Private Hundeby survived all these battles, but was wounded “slightly in head” in the fighting at Bald Knob, GA, on June 20, 1864, and sent to a hospital.
After recovering from his wound, Private Hundeby returned to the 15th sometime in July or August 1864, and was then listed as”present” with the regiment until February 1865. It is not known if he was with the 15th when it fought before Atlanta, GA on July 22, but it is likely he participated with the regiment when it fought at Jonesboro, GA on September 1 and at Lovejoy Station, GA on September 4, 1864.
Based on the recommendation of Captain Grinager, Private Hundeby was promoted to the rank of Sergeant (Sersjant) in Company K effective September 1, 1864. After a rest following the capture of Atlanta in early September, the 15th was briefly assigned to Provost duty in Chattanooga at the beginning of October 1864. This was followed by several months of guarding a railroad bridge at Whitesides, TN near Chattanooga. Some of the 15th’s soldiers felt that this was the easiest duty of their war service.
Sergeant Hundeby was mustered out of Federal service along with most of the other surviving members of Company K on February 10, 1865 at Chattanooga, TN, upon the end of their 3-year terms of service. At muster out the Army noted that he was due $100 in bounty money. The men of the company were then sent to Madison, WI, paid off, and the company disbanded.
After being mustered out, Theodore Hundeby returned to Worth County, IA. The following is taken from the 1884 History of Mitchell and Worth Counties:
“T. K. Hundeby and his parents were among the early settlers of Silver Lake township, having come here in 1857. He is a native of Norway, born Dec. 5, 1842. When ten years of age he came with his parents to the United States, settling in Winneshiek Co. [County], Iowa, where they remained until they made a permanent location in Worth county…After his return to Worth county [following his service in the 15th Wisconsin] he engaged in farming…until he was elected sheriff of the county in 1871, serving in that capacity for four years. On Jan. 2, 1873, he was married to Randi Medgaarden, who was born in the town of Plymouth, Rock Co., Wis. [Wisconsin]…He owns and operates a successful and increasing drug business in Northwood, and is largely interested in farming lands. The entire family are members of the Lutheran Church…”
Nine children were born to Theodore and Randi: Charles, on October 22, 1873; Oscar, on November 29, 1874; Clara Antoinette, on June 29, 1876; George Gunnerius, on April 15, 1878; Anton Hiram, on March 21 or 25, 1880; Martin Luther, on September 27, 1883; Theodore, on April 27, 1885; Ester Regine, on June 15, 1887; and Irving Henry, on March 1, 1891.
It is recorded in Buslett’s 1895 history of the 15th WI that in 1892 Theodore Hundby was working as a merchant in Northwood, Worth County, IA. According to Hundeby family history, Theodore was active in the Democratic Party and his drug store contained a photo gallery. From 1894 to 1898, he was County Treasurer. He was still in Northwood in 1906. He and his wife moved to Los Angeles, CA. It is said that Theodore died in his early seventies of a “Gastric Ulcer” in 1915. Randi died in 1928.
Sources: History of Mitchell and Worth Counties, Volume 2 (Springfield, Illinois, 1884); 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); 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); 1910 Census, Roll: T624_82, Page: 6A, Enumeration District: 0163, FHL microfilm: 1374095; Civil War Pension Index, Roll# T288_232; Iowa Cemetery Records, p.31; Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, p. 62; Genealogical data from Theodore’s great great grandson Joseph Hundeby, and from Paul Larson and from Tove D. Johansen; Hof bygdebok, Volume 2, Gards – og slektshistorie for Sør-Jara og Mosogn, H. M. Trøseid (1985).