Friday, December 5, 2008

Hans Christian Heg

Hans Christian Heg commanded a brigade at Chickamauga after previously leading the 15th Wisconsin. Heg and the 15th Wisconsin were unique in that he was Norwegian and the regiment was primarily Norwegians, with a few Swedes and Danes. Foreign born officers and regiments primarily made up of one nationality were not too rare but the number of Norwegians was a bit more rare. We think mainly of the Irish and German regiments, not of the Norwegians. In fact I've seen sources that claim the 15th Wisconsin was the only Scandinavian regiment in the war.

At Chickamauga Heg was mortally wounded on the first day. From what I've read it seems that Heg was considered a pretty good officer and had a bright future in the army. Who knows how high he might have risen but division command by the end of the war doesn't seem that much of a stretch. In any respect we'll never know how good Heg might have been as Chickamauga was his first and last battle as brigade commander.

I had read that there was a statue of Heg on the grounds of the capitol in Madison. So one day while doing research at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum (located across the street from the capitol) I decided to go for a stroll. And I found the story to be true.

And here is Heg's mortuary monument at Chickamauga.


Anonymous said...

Heg is a many-statued man. Copies of that Statue also stand at his birthplace, in Lier, Norway; and at Heg Park in Racine County where he settled.

Dave Powell

Kraig McNutt said...

I just toured Chickamauga for the first time this past Sunday. Wonderful park. I had twenty-two relatives who fought at Chickamauga, all in the 58th Indiana (under Crittendon and Buell).

I need to go back several more times to really give Chickamauga its due. I'll check out the Heg marker then.

Kraig McNutt
The Civil War Gazette
The Battle of Franklin