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George Johnson

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
The Scandinavian Regiment
George  Johnson Profile Image
Wisconsin Historical Society, Iconography, ID 89860

Database Record Change Request

Name at Enlist

George Johnson

Birth Name

George Johnson

Other Names

Guttorm Johnson Hovden


3 May 1835 – 30 Jan 1902

Birth Place

Hovden farm, Krødsherad parish, Buskerd fylke

Birth Country


Resident of Muster-In

Beloit, Rock County, WI

Company at Enlistment


Rank at Enlistment


Muster Date

13 Dec 1861

Cause of Death

Blood poisoning

Burial Location

Madison Cemetery, Winneshiek County, IA


Eli Guttormsdtr


John Guttormsen




Ragne Stenersdtr Snersrud

Spouse Lived

5 Aug 1846- 13 Sep 1898

Married On

19 Oct 1865

Marriage Location

Washington Prairie Lutheran Church, Decorah, Winneshiek County, IA

George Johnson was born “Guttorm Johnson Hovden” in Krødsherad parish, Buskerud fylke, Norway on May 3, 1835. Sometime following the deaths of his parents, he and an older brother came to America in 1852 and they settled at Long Prairie, IL.

Johnson joined the WI 15th Infantry, Company G. The men of the company called themselves the “Rock River Rangers.” The army listed him as living in Beloit, Rock County, WI, age 25, and unmarried. He enlisted for three years on September 28, 1861 at Beloit, and mustered at Madison, WI on December 13, 1861 as a Sergeant (Sersjant). He was promoted to First Sergeant on June 17, 1863. On August 28, 1863, he was given a 30-day furlough from Mississippi River Island No. 10, and he traveled to Beloit, where he was reported sick on September 1, 1863. He mustered out on January 13, 1865. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant on February 25, 1867, retroactive to October 1, 1862. He said that he was named Sergeant on his arrival in Camp Randall. He also said he received his officer’s appointment in 1863, but was not given a commission at that time. Johnson said he commanded Company G for 18 months, but was never paid for this.

After the war, he took back his baptismal name, Guttorm, and his Norway farm name, Hovden. He became a well-to-do farmer in Ridgeway, Winneshiek County, IA, owning 400 acres. He married Ragne Stenersdtr Snersrud on October 19, 1865 in Washington Prairie Lutheran Church, Decorah, IA. Together they had ten children, including: John (1866), Steen (1873), Olavus (1876), Amund (1878), Otto (1881), and Gilbert (1886). He died on January 30, 1902 of blood poisoning resulting from a sliver in a finger. He was buried in Madison Cemetery, Winneshiek County, IA. Ragna died on September 13, 1898 and is buried next to him.

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.98; Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillage [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett, Decorah, IA, 1895, p.525, photo; Decorah, IA Genealogical Association; Nordmændene i Amerika, Martin Ulvestad, 1907, History Book Co., Minneapolis, MN, p.296; Oberst Heg og hans gutter, Waldemar Ager, 1916, Fremad Publ. Co., Eau Claire, WI, p.271, photo; Lars Gjertveit, Bodo, Norway; Jerry Rosholt, Vesterheim, Decorah, IA, cemetery visits, Wisconsin Cemetery Records;, Krodsherad Parish Register (1829-1851) Birth and baptism records 1835, p. 18, #41;; Iowa Marriages, Batch #: M58989-1, GS Film #1026659.