Civil War veterans in the attic

A couple weeks ago I got some training on the new version of Ancestry Library Edition.  It is a database very similar to Ancestry.com, available at all the Hennepin County Libraries.  Inspired by a spring visit to Gettysburg I decided to do some digging on the only Civil War veteran in my family I know about, great-great-grandfather Knud Knudson. 

Knud was born in Norway in 1840 and immigrated with his mother and father to Wisconsin in 1849.   He was a farmer in Jordan, Wisconsin when the war broke out.

He enlisted in the 22nd Wisconsin Infantry regiment on August 8, 1862 as a corporal.  The above image is of the regiment marching across a pontoon bridge in Cincinnati on their way south on September 22, 1862.  The other image is a drawing by a soldier of the regiment’s camp at Boone’s Knob, Kentucky, November-December 1862.

I found these images on a great webpage created by the Wisconsin Historical Society on Wisconsin Civil War regiments.

The Wisconsin 22nd Infantry Regiment suffered quite a bit of sickness, many soldiers were in Louisville hospitals in the spring of 1863, including Knud.  Those who were well enough to fight managed to get themselves captured or killed at two minor battles in March, 1863: Thompson’s Station, TN (March 5) and Brentwood, TN (March 25).  When the captured soldiers were exchanged on May 5, 1863, Knud was still in the hospital.  He was mustered out of the regiment on July 6, 1863 with a disability discharge. When the entire regiment was mustered out on June 25, 1865 it had lost 243 men, 166 from disease and 77 were killed in battle.

The story of Knud Knudson probably played out in a lot of families during the Civil War. Some of us have heroes in our families, some of us have martyrs,others have men that just survived like old Knud.  As far as I can tell, besides working on guard duty or foraging, Knud may have never participated in a battle but he went on to live a long life and to have a grandson that served admirably as a medic in World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge.