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John Nordahl Brown

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
The Scandinavian Regiment

Database Record Change Request

Name at Enlist

John Nordahl Brown

Birth Name

Johan Nordahl Brun

Other Names

Johan Nordal Brun


Oct 1840 – 1 Aug 1864

Birth Place


Birth Country


Resident of Muster-In

Christiana, Dane County, WI

Company at Enlistment


2nd Company


3rd Company


Rank at Enlistment


Muster Date

17 Apr 1861

Death Location

La Crosse, La Crosse County, WI


Johan Nordal Brun



John Nordahl Brown was born “Johan Nordal Brun” in Koppervig, Norway in October 1840. He was a great grandson of a famous bishop with his same name. His father, also Johan Nordal Brun, was a merchant. He came to America at age 9 in a group led by Pastor A. C. Preus who was married to young Brun’s sister. Following confirmation, young Brun learned to be a typographer and worked for the Norwegian language paper “Emigranten” in Madison, WI.

Brown joined the WI 15th Infantry, Company K. The company called itself “Clausen’s Guards” in honor of the 15th’s first Chaplain, Claus L. Clausen. Most of the company was recruited from Scandinavian communities in MN and IA, with the rest from WI. The army listed him as living in Christiana, Dane County, WI and age 22.

Brown mustered at Madison, WI on April 17, 1861 as Sergeant (Sersjant). He was commissioned Second Lieutenant (Løytnant) in WI 15th Infantry Company G on November 28, 1862 at Washington, D.C., with rank from October 1, 1862. He was seriously wounded in the battle of Stones River near Murfreesboro, TN on December 31, 1862, and was taken prisoner by the Confederates, who lost him almost immediately to a troop of Union Cavalry. He was detached from Company G and assigned to Company E on January 8, 1863, effective from December 20, 1862. He was given leave of absence for 20 days beginning February 3, 1863. He was hard of hearing and this got worse during the fighting. He resigned on April 9, 1863. He died, not yet 24, on August 1, 1864 in La Crosse, WI where he was working for the Norwegian language newspaper “Fædrelandet”.


Sources: Series 1200: Records of Civil War Regiments, 1861-1900, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, box 76-9; Regimental Muster and Descriptive Rolls, 1861-1865, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, vol.20, p.70; Payroll muster rolls of WI 15th Co E, saved by Captain T. A. Rossing; Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett, Decorah, IA, 1894, p.466 photo; Oberst Heg og hans gutter, Waldemar Ager, 1916, Fremad Publ. Co., Eau Claire, WI, p.192 photo, p.303, p.311; Lars Gjertveit, Bodo, Norway.