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Torsten J Gilbert

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
The Scandinavian Regiment
Torsten J Gilbert Profile Image
This photograph is believed to have been taken circa 1896 at St. Paul, Minnesota. Tosten is thought to be wearing a 15th Wisconsin reunion ribbon issued in 1896.
This image of Tosten is courtesy of his Great Grandson John D. Toraason.

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Name at Enlist

Torsten J Gilbert

Birth Name

Tosten Iversen

Other Names

Iversen Baarum (or Vaarum); Thurston Gilbert


14 Feb 1843 – 10 Sep 1905

Birth Place

Østre Slidre, Oppland fylke

Birth Country


Resident of Muster-In

Manitowoc, Manitowoc County, WI

Company at Enlistment


Rank at Enlistment


Muster Date

12 Dec 1861

Death Location

Blair, Trempealeau County, WI


Ingri Nielsdatter


Iver Gulbrandsen


Mariah Thurston

Spouse Lived


Tosten Iversen Gilbert was born “Tosten Iversen Baarum (or Vaarum)”, in Østre Slidre, Valders, Oppland fylke, Norway. He joined the WI 15th Infantry, Company F. The men of the company called themselves “KK’s Protectors” in honor of the 15th’s first Lieutenant Colonel, Kiler K. Jones. “F” was also known as the Valdres Company because a large number of its members hailed from the Valdres region of Norway.

The army listed Gilbert as living in Manitowoc, Manitowoc County, WI, unmarried, and age 18. He enlisted for three years on November 10, 1861 at Manitowoc, and mustered at Madison, WI on December 12, 1861 as a Private (Menig). He was sick in Murfreesboro, TN on July 3, 1863. He mustered out with F Company on January 13, 1865 at Chattanooga, TN.

After the war, Tosten worked as a farmer until 1870. He married Mariah and had Ida E. (1873) and Tina E. (1875). They moved to La Crosse where he opened a merchandise store in that town and Reynold’s Corners. He ran the stores with his cousin Gulbrand O. Gilbert. In 1874, he started T.I. Gilbert & Co. He ran a creamery and sorghum mill, bought grain, and sold hay. According to the Whitehall Times and Blair Banner, “At one time this company was one of the leading firms in this part of the state.” He expanded with another store in Eleva in the 1880s. He then lost it all due to issues with a business partner. He died in Blair, Trempealeau County, WI on September 10, 1905.


Sources: Series 1200: Records of Civil War Regiments, 1861-1900, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, box 76-8; Regimental Muster and Descriptive Rolls, 1861-1865, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, vol.20, p.88; Det Femtende Regiment. Wisconsin Frivillage [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett, Decorah, IA, 1895, p.504; Oberst Heg og hans gutter, Waldemar Ager, 1916, Fremad Publ. Co., Eau Claire, WI, p.307; Nordmændene i Amerika, Martin Ulvestad, 1907, History Book Co., Minneapolis, MN, p.283; Blaine Hedberg, NAGC&NL; The Whitehall Times and Blair Banner, 9/21/1905; 1880 Census, Roll: 1448, Family History Film: 1255448, Page: 126C, Enumeration District: 067; Wisconsin Marriage Records, Batch # M00331-3, GS Film # 1275577; Names of Ex-Soldiers and Sailors Residing in WI, June 1, 1905, by WI Dept of State, p.50; Norway, Select Baptisms, FHL Film #125558; Wisconsin Death Records, Vol. 1, p. 563.