An interesting and informative Music City Vikings meeting was held Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, as recapped here by MCV member Sharon Lassiter.
President Oscar Krosnes introduced Jim Lewis, Park Ranger in charge of Visitor Services & Resource Protection from Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro, TN. Ranger Lewis used a powerpoint with maps, photos, copies of letters and a poster when he spoke on the topic “Norway Goes To War.” Jim told us the Battle of Stones River, which began on December 30,1862, was an overlooked battle with a twist. The men in the Wisconsin 15th Volunteer Regiment under Colonel Hans Christian Heg were known in history as the “Norwegian Regiment” and each Company had a Norwegian name. Company A- Saint Olaf’s, B-Wergland Guards, C- Norway Bear Hunters, D- Wolf Hunters, E-Odin’s Rifles, F-K.K.’s Protectors, G-Rock River Rangers, H-Heg Rifles and I- Scandinavian Mountaineers. The battle was given, “NO, Respect.” The Scandinavaians were immigrants and they believed in freedom and fought for the slaves right to be set free.
Jim shared photos of letters from Norwegian soldiers. Knud Iverson Kikæ from Co.E penned a letter from Nashville on December 20, 1862, describing the hardships of a soldier during a winter war and the longing for home and family. Lars Olson Dokken was wounded at Stones River on Dec. 30, 1862 and left for dead. He laid still while the Rebels stripped him of his blanket, canteen, sewing kit and his Double Explanation Catechism which he missed the most. He laid on the battlefield for two days before he was found by Union Soldiers. His letter was written in pencil from a hospital near Murfreesboro on Jan. 10, 1863. Three hundred men from the Wisconsin 15th Infantry died in the Battle of Stones River. Col. Heg who was known as the bravest of the brave died at the battle of Chickamauga in Georgia on September 20,1863.
The bloody conclusion of the Battle of Stones River was on January 1, 1863. On the same day the "Emancipation Proclamation” was signed by President Lincoln. The Union claimed victory on January 5, 1863, and the troops moved into Murfreesboro.
Tusen takk to Ranger Lewis for his informative and well documented presentation. We will encourage our membership to attend the programs at Stones River Battlefield to learn more about the Norwegians who served our country during the Civil War."
Another highlight of the meeting: Membership Secretary Karen Kennedy awarded MCV member Barbara Fletcher a Special Recognition certificate from Sons of Norway in Minneapolis for her 15 years of membership in Sons of Norway. Congratulations to Barbara!