Civil War Database

This extensive database contains information on the lives and service of Civil War soldiers who were born in Norway.

The data was compiled from research conducted between 1997 and 2003 by Jerry Rosholt, a journalist and later producer for NBC Nightly News. In addition to the database, Rosholt served as guest historian a major exhibition on Norwegians in the Civil War at Vesterheim and authored a companion volume. Ole Goes to War: Men from Norway Who Fought in America’s Civil War, by Jerry Rosholt, is available through Vesterheim’s Museum Store.

Database Sources – a list of sources of the information and explanation of abbreviations listed at the end of the entries.

Abbreviations & Database Clues – includes more information about how to use this database.

Soldiers’ Names – includes more information about rural Norwegian naming customs and the name changes that often occurred after emigration to the United States.

Send additions or edits to the database to



Vesterheim’s Norwegians in the Civil War project was made possible through the generous support of Hamlet and Suzanne Peterson, Rochester, Minn., and a grant from Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The companion volume Ole Goes to War: Men from Norway Who Fought in America’s Civil War, by Jerry Rosholt, was made possible through a gift from the Government of Norway in honor of Vesterheim’s 125th Anniversary.

We are grateful to The Edwin E. and Janet L. Bryant Foundation of Stoughton, Wisc., for their generous grant in support of the online database.

Additional support for sharing the research of Jerry Rosholt comes from Darlene Rosholt, Gerald R. Sime, Donald and Faye Aamodt, Robert Rosholt, Robert Sande, Dirk Rosholt, Greg Rosholt, and Sons of Norway Nordic 1-502.

Last Name


IL 34th Inf Co I. Residence: Salem, Carroll County, Illinois. Born in Norway. Civil War: Laborer. Age 30. Unmarried. Blue eyes, brown hair, dark complexion,…

YGRE, Knud

See OLSON, Knut

YESSON, Alexander

WI 24th Inf Co A. Residence: Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. Born in Norway. Civil War: Age 24. Teamster. Unmarried. Brown eyes, dark hair, light complexion,…


From Nedre Stjordalen, Norway. Civil War: Private. Wounded in the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 1-3 Jul 1863, and died of his wounds. Sources: (Ulvestad p340)

YOUNG, William

DT 1st Cavalry Battalion Co A. Civil War: Private. Promoted to Corporal. Sources: (Index of Compiled Service Records, North Dakota Archives, roll 6099)


IN 42nd Inf Co D. Residence: Canelton, Perry County, Indiana. Born 6 Jan 1843 in Switzerland. His family moved to Norway and lived there for…


Born in Norway. Civil War: Post war: “Last surviving Civil War veteran” of Oscar Township, Otter Tail County, Minnesota. Died Sunday at Rothsay, Minnesota, age…

ZARBILL, Marius D.

IL 89th Inf Co D. Residence: Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. Born in Norway. Civil War: Clerk. Age 28. Blue eyes, light hair, light complexion, 5’6”.…