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Johannes S. Irgens

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
The Scandinavian Regiment

Database Record Change Request

Name at Enlist

Johannes S. Irgens

Birth Name

Johannes Stephanus Irgens

Other Names

Johan Irgens; John E. Irgens, John S. Irgens


11 Feb 1832 – 31 Dec 1901

Birth Place

Modum, Buskerud

Birth Country


Resident of Muster-In

St. Ansgar, Mitchell County, IA

Company at Enlistment


Rank at Enlistment


Muster Date

1 Mar 1862

Death Location

Jamul, San Diego County, CA

Burial Location

Mount Hope Cemetery, San Diego, San Diego County, CA


Henriette Christine Calmeyer

Mother Lived



Ole Irgens

Father Lived



14 Aug 1849


Louise Petronelle Arentz

Spouse Lived


John S. Irgens was born “Johannes Stephanus Irgens” on February 11, 1832 at Modum, Buskerud, Norway, the son of Ole Irgens and Henriette Christine Calmeyer. He came to America on “Lyna”, which sailed from Drammen, Buskerud on June 8, 1849 and arrived in NY on August 14, 1849. He stayed in NY, but moved in 1850 to Chicago, IL where he worked in a factory. On December 15, 1853, he was married to Louise Petronelle Arentz (1826-1916). In 1857, he moved to St. Ansgar.

Irgens 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 St. Ansgar, Mitchell County, IA, age 29, and married. (Although in the 1860 census, he and his family were already living in Adams, Mower County, MN.) He enlisted on March 1, 1862, and mustered at Madison, WI as a Private (Menig). Irgens was promoted to First Sergeant (Sersjant) on May 1, 1862. He was then commissioned Second Lieutenant (Løytnant) on June 5, 1862 at Humboldt, TN. He resigned on September 3, 1862.

After the war, Irgens became a railroad station master in Adams, Mower County, MN. John and Louisa had several children, including: Ole Henry (1855), Henrietta (1857), Diedrick (1859), John P. (1863), Marcus F. (1867), and Lewis (1869). He was elected Mower County Treasurer before becoming MN Secretary of State from 1875 to 1879. In 1879, he moved to Valley City, Barnes County, ND. In 1887, he was in Claremont, Surry County, VA, but then was back in ND. He moved in 1896 to Jamul, San Diego County, CA, and died there on December 31, 1901. The Barnes County GAR Minutes of January 21, 1902 referred to the death of member John Irgens. 


Sources: Series 1200: Records of Civil War Regiments, 1861-1900, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, box 76-12; Regimental Muster and Descriptive Rolls, 1861-1865, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, vol.20, p.140; Det Femtende Regiment. Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett, Decorah, IA, 1894, p.618; Nordmændene i Amerika, Martin Ulvestad, 1907, History Book Co., Minneapolis, MN, p.257; Oberst Heg og hans gutter, Waldemar Ager, 1916, Fremad Pub. Co., Eau Claire, WI, p.316; Lars Gjertveit, Bodo, Norway; GAR Joseph Weiser Post # 66 Minutes, Valley City Historical Society, ND; Norwegian Immigrants to the United States. A Biographical Directory, 1825-1850. Volume Four 1849, Gerhard B. Naeseth and Blaine Hedberg, 2008, Anundsen Publishing Co., Decorah, IA, p. 191, ID 2559; 1860 Census, Roll: M653_572, Page: 468, Image: 55; 1870 Census, Roll: T132_7, Image: 632, Family History Library Film: 830427; 1880 Census, Roll: 111, Family History Film: 1254111, Page: 6D, Enumeration District: 065;