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Ellend Errickson

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
The Scandinavian Regiment
Ellend  Errickson Profile Image
Wisconsin Historical Society, Iconography, ID 89419

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Name at Enlist

Ellend Errickson

Birth Name

Ellend Errickson

Other Names

Erick Holstad Trytten; Erickson


07 Oct 1835 – 25 Jun 1912

Birth Place

Vik parish, Hordaland

Birth Country


Resident of Muster-In

Bath, Freeborn County, MN

Company at Enlistment


Rank at Enlistment


Muster Date

1 Feb 1862

Death Location

Albert Lea, Freeborn County, MN

Burial Location

Lakewood Cemetery, Albert Lea, Freeborn County, MN


Anna Oldsdott Honse


Erik Ellendson Holstad




Betsey Jacobson

Spouse Lived

Oct 1841- 1920

Married On

27 Mar 1860

Ellend Errickson was born Erick Holstad on October 7, 1835 to Anna Oldsdott Honse and Erik Ellendson Holstad. He later gained the farm name of Trytten when he lived on the Tryti farm with his mother and step-father. When he came to America in 1854 he dropped the Trytten name and adopted his birth father’s first name as his last name, adding the word “son,” and his father’s middle name as his new first name.

Errickson lived first in Chicago, IL, then came to Albert Lea, Freeborn County in 1860. He was a farmer and former lumberman when he was enlisted by Claus L. Clausen. Ellend was appointed as a Corporal (Korporal) on February 1, 1862. Corporal Errickson was mustered into Federal service at Camp Randall near Madison, Dane County, WI. At the time he was 26 years old and married. His wife was Betsey Jacobson who was born in October 1841 in Norway and immigrated in 1857. His residence was in Bath Township, Freeborn County, MN.

After a period of training at Camp Randall, the 15th left for the war on March 2, 1862. That spring Corporal Errickson 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. Corporal Errickson was appointed as the 3rd Sergeant (Sersjant) of Company K on May 1, 1862.

On June 11, 1862, Company K and 7 of the 15th’s 10 companies departed Island No. 10 never to return. Beginning June 12, 1862, Sergeant Errickson was listed as “sick” at Island No. 10, but was back with Company K sometime in July 1862. He participated U.S. Major General Don Carlos Buell’s 400-mile forced march retreat from AL to Louisville, KY in August and September 1862, with the last 2 weeks being conducted on half rations and short of water.

On October 8, 1862, Sergeant Errickson took part in the 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 December 26, 1862, Sergeant Errickson 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 then fought at the long, cold, wet, and bloody Battle of Stone River, TN, also called the Battle of Murfreesboro, on December 30-31, 1862. It is there that the 15th first suffered serious battle casualties, and was cited for bravery. The following is from Buslett’s 1895 history of the 15th WI:

“After the battle General Rosecrans issued an order to the various regiments’ commanders to submit to headquarters a list of one sergeant, two corporals and four or five privates in each company (altogether no more than six from each company), who had shown the greatest courage and ability during the battle. These would be entered on the Roll of Honor.”

The 15th’s commander, Colonel Hans C. Heg, submitted Sergeant Errickson’s name to headquarters and he was entered on the Roll of Honor for the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 20th Army Corps for his actions at the Battle of Stone River.

The 15th camped in the Murfreesboro area for the next 6 months, except for 2 weeks in February when it was sent to Franklin, TN. On June 3, 1863, at the recommendation of Colonel Heg, Sergeant Errickson was commissioned by the Governor of WI as the new Second Lieutenant (Løytnant) (third-in-command) of Company K, with rank from May 27, 1863. He filled the vacancy created when 2nd Lieutenant John P. Strömer was tricked into resigning his commission. At the time Company K was commanded by Captain Mons Grinager and had 1st Lieutenant Andrew Clement as its second-in-command.

Starting June 23, 1863, the regiment took part in U.S. Major General William S. Rosecrans’ Tullahoma campaign. On July 3, 1863, the 15th went into camp at Winchester, Franklin County, TN, for 6 weeks. On August 17, 1863, the 15th left there to participate in General Rosecrans’ Chickamauga campaign. Lieutenant Errickson is believed to have been present at the daring early morning crossing of the Tennessee River on August 28th, which the 15th led. Lieutenant Errickson was with Company K during 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 during Longstreet’s Breakthrough. Some 63% of the 15th’s soldiers who were at Chickamauga were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner.

Lieutenant Errickson 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. Starting October 13, 1863, Lieutenant Errickson was assigned to help Guard a vital Army supply wagon train from Chattanooga, over the mountains to the Federal depot at Stevenson, AL. This was by all accounts a physically challenging and dangerous trip. Lieutenant Errickson was once again back with the 15th in early November 1863.

2nd Lieutenant Errickson was finally mustered into the Federal Army at that rank in Chattanooga, on November 16, 1863, with his rank to officially date from June 9, 1863. Beginning November 21, 1863, 2nd Lieutenant Errickson took temporary command of Company K due to Captain Grinager being on leave and 1st Lieutenant Clement having been captured. 2nd Lieutenant Errickson commanded the company at the famous assault up Mission Ridge on November 25, 1863, which broke the siege of Chattanooga and sent the Confederate army into headlong retreat.

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.

Starting in May 1864, the 15th participated in the famous Atlanta campaign 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; and the bloody Battle of Resaca, GA on May 14-15, 1864. On May 27, 1864, the 15th fought in the disastrous Battle of Pickett’s Mill (often called Dallas or New Hope Church), GA. There the regiment suffered 50% casualties, including Lieutenant Errickson:

“We kept up fire until it was dark and then we took some of the wounded back to the ravine with us. I met Major Wilson [who commanded the 15th at Pickett’s Mill] and asked if we were to remain there all night. He answered “No, we are expecting to be relieved any minute.” (This was after the battle was over). Lieutenant Erickson of Co. K, Lieutenant Thor Simonson and I sat down to discuss what had happened and who had been killed and wounded, when we heard a noise ahead of us. We knew that none of our men were there, and fired. Soon after, a man sprang into view. He wore our uniform, but he was a Rebel. He said “For God’s sake, don’t fire on them, you are shooting at your own men.” I had just loaded the gun and had my fingers in the box of percussion caps. I looked up and there was a Rebel regiment before us with bayonets pointed a couple of feet from our chests. We were forced to surrender and we did.”

Lieutenant Errickson was subsequently held in Confederate officer prisons at both Macon and Savannah, GA, and Charleston, SC. On September 28, 1864, he was released by the Confederates at Rough and Ready, GA. This was about 3 weeks after the Union capture of Atlanta, and some 4 months after he had been captured.

At the recommendation of Lieutenant Colonel A.F. St. Sure Lindsfelt, then the 15th’s surgeon, wrote that Errickson was unfit for duty due to a “chronic inflamation of the spine.” Lieutenant Errickson was granted sick leave starting November 11, 1864 to recuperate at home.

Lieutenant Errickson was next listed as “present” with the 15th in January 1865. The regiment was then guarding a railroad bridge at Whitesides, TN near Chattanooga. Some of the 15th’s soldiers felt this was the easiest duty of their entire war service. During this period the 15th was being mustered out of existence company by company. On February 10, 1865, Lieutenant Errickson was mustered out of the Army at the end of his 3-year term of service. He was never mustered into the Federal Army as a 1st Lieutenant.

After the war Errickson returned to his wife and farm in Bath Township. He and his wife improved and expanded the farm to 360 acres. He joined Robson Post No. 5, Grand Army of the Republic (the GAR, which was the Union veterans organization). He served on the local town board for 20 years, of which 9 years were as board chairman. In 1878, he served as an alderman in the first city council in Albert Lea, MN. From 1889 to 1892 he served as a Republican in the Assembly of the MN Legislature. Ellend Errickson is described thus in Buslett’s book:

“He was a quiet man and had a reputation of being a clever soldier and officer.”

Ellend and Betsey lived in Freeborn County, MN after the war–first in Albert Lea and then in Bath. Together, they had 10 children, 8 of whom were living in 1900. Their children included: Annie (1862), Emily (1867), Oline (1868), Caroline (1870), Edward (1872), Jacob (1874), Oscar (1877), Ellen (1880), Norah (1881), and Lara (1884). Errickson worked as a dealer of pine lumber and then as a farmer. Both he and Betsey are buried in Lakewood Cemetery, Albert Lea, Freeborn County, MN.


Sources: Genealogical data by Dean Trytten; Veterans of the Civil War who served from Freeborn County, lived in Freeborn County after the War, are buried in Freeborn County compiled by Jean R. Legried (Oakland, Minnesota, 1990) from an index started by L.W. Spicer; History of Freeborn County Minnesota, compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge (Chicago, Illinois, 1911); Oberst Heg og hans gutter [Colonel Heg and His Boys], Waldemar Ager (Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 1916); History of the Scandinavians and Successful Scandinavians in the United States, O.N. Nelson (Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1900); Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillage [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett (Decorah, Iowa, 1895); Civil War Compiled Military Service Records, Office of Adjutant General of the United States (Washington, DC); Regimental Descriptive Rolls, Volume 20, Office of the Adjutant General State of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin, 1885);; 1880 Census, Roll: 370, Family History Film: 1254370, Page: 608B, Enumeration District: 229; Image: 0119; 1900 Census, Roll: 764, Page: 3A, Enumeration District: 0047, FHL microfilm: 1240764; 1910 Census Roll: T624_695, Page: 3A, Enumeration District: 0039, FHL microfilm: 1374708.