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Lincoln and the Union:
A Study of the Editorials of Emigranten and Fædrelandet
By Arlow W. Andersen  (Volume XV: Page 85)

The decade preceding the Civil War saw the forces of compromise weakening and the strength of extremists gaining. The spirit of sectionalism prevailed in every major political and social development. The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, intended to be a boon to slaveholders, was all but nullified in effect by the enactment of personal liberty laws in Northern states, by moral resentment on the part of many who were not out-and-out abolitionists, and by active countermeasures well exemplified in the mysterious workings of the Underground Railroad. Adding considerably to the growing sectional tension was the financial crisis of 1857, when the industrial North bemoaned Buchanan's unhelpful Democratic administration while the Cotton Kingdom congratulated itself upon its economic stability. Yet the South, despite its vaunted soundness, suffered constant emotional disturbance throughout the decade.

The election of 1860 was to determine not only the future of slavery in the United States but the very existence of the nation. In its deeper implications the contest was to decide whether the promised land of the immigrants would break with the cultural progress of the western world and the trend of the age. With Germany and Italy approaching national unification and with Great Britain on the verge of making further concessions to democracy by extending the franchise at home and granting dominion status to Canada abroad, a dissolution of the American Union would have run contrary to the prevailing western principle of national consolidation. Nationalism and democracy were on the march. Thus the government at Washington could hardly accept the founding of an independent nation on its southern border.

The election campaign of 1860 found four presidential aspirants in the field. Unable to agree, the Democratic party suffered a disastrous split. John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky carried the hopes of the Southern wing, committed to the view that slavery must be protected even at the cost of secession. Stephen A. Douglas retained the support of Northern Democrats, who trusted that popular sovereignty would prevent national disruption. A third candidate was John Bell of Tennessee, representing the Constitutional Union party, which feared war and advocated conciliation. The choice of the Republican party fell judiciously upon Abraham Lincoln. His "house divided" speech was no less prophetic of bloodshed than Seward's earlier prediction of an "irrepressible conflict," but Lincoln was less known and had created fewer political enemies.

In the critical campaign days, when the fate of the nation hung in the balance, Emigranten, then the only secular Norwegian-American newspaper being published, continued to support the Republican cause. {1} Established in 1852, this four-page weekly had at first presented the "Independent Democratic" point of view, then, after 1854, the Republican viewpoint. Well qualified as editor was Carl Fredrik Solberg, in charge of the paper from 1857 to 1868. He made the journey from Norway in 1853 with his father, who for a time directed the Oleana colony of Ole Bull in Pennsylvania. Upon the failure of the Oleana experiment the younger Solberg migrated in 1856 to Rock Prairie, Wisconsin. A native of Christiania, he had received his higher education in Denmark and was admirably suited to pioneer immigrant journalism. {2} Once having accepted the editorial responsibility of Emigranten, which was published in Madison, Wisconsin, he proposed to bring Norwegians more actively into politics. Scarcely a month had passed since Chief Justice Taney had handed down the momentous Dred Scott decision. To the great satisfaction of the South and the extreme disappointment of the North, the Supreme Court held that Congress had no power to prohibit slavery in the territories. In effect, the Missouri Compromise and with it the Republican program were thereby declared unconstitutional. With the issue thus joined, Solberg took a more determined Republican stand. {3}

Editor Solberg's support of Lincoln and Hamlin was announced immediately after the meeting of the national Republican convention in Chicago, in Lincoln's home state. {4} Of special importance to the immigrant editor, who disclaimed any intention of filling his columns with politics, were certain Republican promises. He appreciated an early prospect of outlawing slavery in the territories, with no further dependence upon the uncertain doctrine of popular sovereignty, rejected by the Supreme Court in the famous Dred Scott decision. He approved of a homestead act and wasted no affection on Buchanan, who had vetoed such a bill. Similarly, Solberg feared annexation of Cuba, a potential slave territory, and favored the Republican proposal to reject the annexation. The promise of a moderate protective tariff, benefiting the North and West, also insured that Emigranten would take an active part in behalf of Lincoln. {5}

This stand was reaffirmed in several issues of the paper so widely read by Norwegians, and to some extent by Danes and Swedes, in the Northwest.

Support for the Republican party was by no means universal in the North in 1860. New York City, for example, provided much comfort to secessionist leaders both during and after the election campaign. The Herald and the Tribune agreed that a Republican victory would hurt the commercial and financial prestige of the great metropolis. {6} Solberg's stand on some of the Republican proposals was therefore neither typical nor unusual when compared with American press opinion generally toward what promised to be a radical political change.

One who thumbs the musty pages of Emigranten finds no enthusiasm expressed for Lincoln personally in the campaign of 1860, though the Illinois rail splitter had identified himself sufficiently with immigrant interests. Notable was his objection in 1859 to a proposal of the Republican legislature of Massachusetts to prohibit naturalized citizens from voting until two years after obtaining citizenship. Federal law required the foreign born to reside in the country five years before they could be naturalized. The Republican party had little difficulty in convincing German and Scandinavian immigrants that the Massachusetts law was aimed not at them but at the Democratic Boston Irish, making it impossible for them to go to the polls for at least seven years from the time of their arrival in the United States. When unthinking followers suggested the adoption of the Massachusetts proposal in Illinois, Lincoln flatly rejected the idea. Inasmuch as he deplored the oppressed condition of the blacks, he said, it would be inconsistent of him to approve a measure infringing upon "the inalienable rights of whitemen," whether or not they were born abroad or spoke a different language.

Lincoln's defense of the immigrant notwithstanding, Solberg's loyalty was more to the party than to the man. Opportunity was given James D. Reymert, a Danish-born Democratic candidate for Congress, to explain his aversion to slavery and his reliance upon Douglas' popular sovereignty as a solution in the territories. {7} But Solberg cautioned against splitting the ticket as a favor to Scandinavian candidates of rival parties. Norwegians should place party principles above the national origin of the candidate. {8} Reymert's record as the first editor of the Free-Soil Nordlyset (The Northern Light), pioneer of Norwegian-American newspapers, was not enough to soften Solberg's partisan judgment, and he was no doubt pleased to see Reymert defeated by Wisconsin voters.

Indications of a greater degree of loyalty to the president-elect himself first appeared when the majority of the electoral votes was assured to Lincoln. "A thousand hurrahs for Lincoln and Hamlin!" was the jubilant front-page response of Emigranten. {9} From then until the inauguration, several brief allusions reveal Solberg's quickened interest in the man who was to carry the burdens of state through some trying years. The secession of South Carolina in December and of six additional Southern states in January went by unmentioned. Lincoln's nobility of character was stressed. Lincoln gave politicians and office seekers to understand that he did not wish any calls from them while he remained in Springfield, Illinois. {10} His sincerity and depth of feeling were sympathetically described. {11} And editorial concern was expressed over the rumored plan of five hundred men who swore to prevent Lincoln's inauguration by crowding around him and shielding a chosen assassin from view. {12} But assassination was not attempted.

Lincoln's first inaugural address merited a place, as presidential addresses usually did, in the columns of Emigranten. Solberg pronounced it both firm and kindly, and "as good as 10,000 men" in calming the country. "Misled Southerners" learned on the one hand that their actual rights were in no danger and on the other that the new administration was not to be trifled with. The speech also proved to other parties, said Solberg, that the Republicans were not fanatical. On one point, however, he differed with the president, namely, on the interpretation of enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law. Lincoln, with hope of pacifying the rebellious South, indicated his approval of the spirit of the law, though he must have known how ineffective was its enforcement. With the approval itself Solberg took no issue. But when Lincoln declared that it made no difference whether an escaped slave were delivered up by authority of a state or by authority of the Union, Solberg defended the right of the state to deliver. The tendency of the federal government to increase its powers should be checked, he said. {13} Considering the delicate nature of the subject even at best, it is remarkable that Solberg did not differ more sharply with Lincoln. Like all Northerners of antislavery leanings, he could hardly stomach the Fugitive Slave Law, designed to protect slaveowners as a part of the Compromise of 1850.

A few words concerning the role of the Norwegian voters in the fateful election of 1860 are in order. In view of the closeness of the election in the northwestern states, it has sometimes been stated that the immigrant vote swung the victory to Lincoln. An American scholar, William E. Dodd, published that conclusion in 1911 in an essay entitled "The Fight for the Northwest." {14} Later scholarship has tended to prove that the immigrants voted for Lincoln in no greater proportion than did the native Americans. {15} Strenuous campaign efforts of a "foreign department" headed by Carl Schurz were directed primarily toward winning the German vote, but it is unlikely that Schurz, as an intellectual, was able to sway the opinions of stolid German farmers. {16} Swedish immigrants, who had been admonished and guided by Tuve N. Hasselquist in the Republican Hemlandet after 1856, needed no further encouragement. There were few Swedish Democrats. Dodd's conclusion on the decisiveness of the foreign-born vote, no longer so widely held, rests primarily on the balloting of the Germans. The Norwegians, though more numerous in America in 1860 than the Swedes, carried too small a political weight to swing the election. And even in Wisconsin, where their numbers were greatest, Democrats were not rare among them. A minority element among the men from Norway were influenced by certain pastors who had adopted the Democratic views of the German Missouri Synod. {17} Only if it is assumed that the election turned on the outcome in Wisconsin, whose electoral votes were cast for Lincoln, can it possibly be considered true that Norwegian voters determined the presidency of the United States. Their numbers were all too few and, as Solberg well knew, even those few lacked political unanimity. {18} Now at the opening of the Civil War the ministerial brethren of the Missouri Synod continued to side with the South. Norwegians had a part in electing Lincoln but scarcely more, since even without the electoral votes of Wisconsin, Lincoln's victory was assured. {19}

Lincoln's incumbency nullified all possibility of further compromise. Although Congress lacked a Republican majority and the Supreme Court enjoyed its previous Democratic preponderance, secessionist leaders, in unwarranted fear that governmental affairs would henceforth be run by the Republican North, organized the Confederate States of America. The new Confederate constitution came to public attention on March 11, 1861. Solberg expressed concern over the new "Montgomery government." Either the Lincoln administration must recognize Confederate independence or immediate steps must be taken to suppress the rebellion, he said. {20}

War or no war, the future of the United States was not at all unpromising to Solberg. In reply to the criticisms of Johannes W. C. Dietrichson, a pastor who returned to Norway in 1850 in disappointment over American conditions, he admitted that politics was rotten. But he wondered why Dietrichson, who had occupied a beautiful parsonage in Wisconsin, could find nothing good to say about this country. {21} Solberg's sense of loyalty to his adopted country was again offended by the attitude of two influential papers of Christiania (now Oslo), Norway. The one, Morgenbladet, had reported poor economic conditions in America, suggesting that Norwegian emigration should be curtailed or suspended. Solberg denied that economic opportunities were being affected by the war. Men with a will to work could not fail, he said. Western lands still beckoned. He conceded, however, that the banking system might suffer temporarily because of its dependence upon the financial obligations of the slave states. {22} The second Christiania paper, Aftenbladet, was gradually yielding, Solberg charged, to British propaganda as the war appeared to progress favorably for the Confederacy. It was bad enough, he complained, to find an enemy of the Union in the leading morning paper of the capital of Norway without discovering also the unfriendly attitude of England reflected in the evening paper. {23} As long as the North was fighting to save the Union rather than to free the slaves, Englishmen sympathized with the South. {24}

Since Lincoln had determined to preserve the Union at whatever cost, the Confederate attack of April 12 on Fort Sumter meant war. The fact that he chose to limit himself to the single aim of preserving national unity, in deference to the slavery interests of the border states, seemed not to deter Norwegian immigrants from supporting the new president. Emigranten promptly gave editorial backing to the war declaration of Congress, predominantly Republican after the withdrawal of the Southern representatives. "To arms!" was Solberg's cry. This was not to be just another war, he explained. Affairs of great moment were hanging in the balance. Union patience had failed to reconcile the "rebels," who now had struck the first blow and were bent on destroying the nation, come what would. In this struggle, one of the most significant of wars according to the editor, the stake was not party power but nothing less than civil and religious freedom. Norwegians whose blood did not run hotter when their new fatherland was in danger should be ashamed. Let the young unmarried men volunteer for military service at once. Married men must be ready to join up later. "Doubt not that the cause is good and righteous," wrote Solberg. "God is with the American soldier." {25}

----End or Part 1----

In view of their small numbers, the military participation of the Norwegian immigrants in the war cannot be considered of major importance to the Union. Its chief significance lies in the fact that Norwegian Americans, then and later, were stimulated to a higher level of patriotism and to a more active role in American public affairs. They contributed proportionately at least as many fighting men as did the native Americans, and probably even more. {26} Their exact contribution cannot be ascertained, but an estimate of 4,500 men seems reasonable. {27} Letters from the field, published in Emigranten, indicate the presence of Norwegians in every Wisconsin regiment and in many units from other states. {28} That not all of them were enthusiastic is suggested by General Pope's announcement of the desertion of three Norwegians from the Thirty-fourth Wisconsin Regiment. Pope stated that they might return by a certain date with no other punishment than loss of pay, surely generous terms in time of war. {29}

It appears that Solberg never argued that the percentage of Norwegian enlistments exceeded that of native Americans. This claim was left to Fædrelandet (The Fatherland), a new journal first published on January 14, 1864. Joint founders and editors of this "Independent Union Paper" of La Crosse, Wisconsin, were Johan Schrader and Frederick Fleiseher, cousin of the Knud J. Fleiseher who once edited Emigranten. The City Post of Rochester, Minnesota, aroused the ire of the editors of Fædrelandet by reporting that three hundred Scandinavians were drafted from Houston and Fillmore counties because "this peculiar people" had failed to provide soldiers commensurate with their numbers, either by volunteering or by paying bounties for others. Said Fleiseher, who took the lead in defending Norwegian immigrant interests, "The Rochester Post should remember that the Norwegian people of this country are the Union's most loyal citizens, and that no nationality in America has, in proportion to its numbers, provided as many volunteers as the Norwegian." {30}

Norwegian immigrants usually joined the Union Army without deliberate choice of regiment or company, and their individual contributions are hidden in the numerous histories of military units. The story of their participation is more easily traced in the experiences of a regiment almost wholly Norwegian, the Fifteenth Wisconsin. {31} Announcement was made in 1861 in Emigranten by John A. Johnson of Madison that a "Scandinavian company" of volunteers would soon be organized. {32} A strong appeal for enlistments in the new unit, now a "Scandinavian regiment," appeared over the signatures of ten distinguished Norwegian Americans. Among the ten were Knud Langeland, editor of the pioneer Nordlyset (1850) and Democraten (1850-1851); Hans Christian Heg, who was to be commissioned colonel of the regiment; and editor Solberg himself. {33} Norwegian pride was piqued by the suggestion from these gentlemen that Scandinavian enlistments were not what they should be. Moreover, it was known that the Germans had organized the Ninth Wisconsin and the Irish the Eleventh Wisconsin. It behooved the Norwegians to achieve a similar distinction. A small-sized extra edition of Emigranten in October renewed the appeal and made known, with evident satisfaction, that Governor Randall had appointed Heg commander of the regiment, effective October 1, 1861.

Colonel Hans Christian Heg of the Fifteenth Wisconsin was born in Lier in southeastern Norway in 1829 and came to the United States with his parents in 1840. Thc family settled in Muskego, Wisconsin Territory. There the father, Even Heg, supplied most of the funds for Nordlyset. In the offices of that journal young Heg first became familiar with American politics. As early as 1848 he was active in the Free-Soil party. In 1849 he rode and trudged, like many others, to California in search of gold. Upon his return in 1851 he learned of his father's death in the previous year. {34} In 1859 Heg was elected state prison commissioner, thus winning the distinction of being the first Scandinavian-born American to be elected to a state office. His administration was marked by several reforms. Prisoners were provided with a workhouse, where they manufactured furniture for state institutions. Sanitation was improved, discipline was made more humane, and measures of economy were inaugurated. Solberg, who knew Heg personally, recommended his re-election, complimenting him upon his reforms and declaring that no Norwegian was better qualified. {35} Coming from Solberg, who knew the Wisconsin Norwegians well, this was high praise. Before the expiration of Heg's term Solberg made a personal visit to the state prison and published a very favorable report of the inspection in Emigranten. {36}

Heg, seeing in the cause of the Union the future welfare of the Norwegian folk in America, declined renomination and made plans to organize the Scandinavian regiment. Privately he confided to Solberg his belief that the veterans of the war would be the men who would control post-war affairs. He went on to say that the Norwegians must get into the fight if they hoped to occupy influential posts in society later. {37} He sought and secured from Solberg publicity in Emigranten. Soon it was reported that five hundred men had volunteered for the new regiment. {38} Not satisfied, Heg made a personal appeal to "the Scandinavians in Wisconsin" in the columns of the paper. "Let us unite," he urged, "in giving over to posterity the old honorable name of Norsemen untarnished." {39} What was transpiring in the country at large -- especially the joyous hysteria of the North following the removal of the Confederate commissioners Mason and Slidell from the British mail steamer "Trent" on November 8 -- apparently mattered less to Emigranten than the organization of Heg's regiment. {40}

Wilkes of the American man-of-war "San Jacinto": "There is, consequently, no drawback to our jubilations. The universal Yankee Nation is getting decidedly awake .... Let us encourage the happy inspiration that achieved such a victory."

Quoted in Bailey, Diplomatic History, 353.

Heg took time in the course of a personal recruiting trip through several states to call on Major General Lane of Kansas and to offer the services of the new regiment. He pointed out that he would be pleased to have a regiment join Lane's force of 34,000 to clear the enemy out of Kansas, Arkansas, Indian Territory, and Texas. He explained that his men were interested, for one reason, because they wished to view the country, with possibilities of future settlement in mind. Lane obligingly replied that those were just the kind of men he wanted. {41}

The members of the Fifteenth Wisconsin assembled at Camp Randall in Madison in December, and drilled and maneuvered until they departed for active duty on March 2, 1862. Solberg was impressed with their marching and credited their rapid improvement to an officer trained in Denmark, Major Charles M. Reese, an editor of former Democratic leanings who had recently turned Republican. {42} Solberg accompanied the regiment, 900 strong, to St. Louis by way of Chicago, where it was well entertained by Scandinavian relatives and friends. In the editor's chair meanwhile was Christian Winge, who received bulletins from Solberg concerning the experiences en route. {43} For the Fifteenth Wisconsin the fighting of the next three years was destined to be in the western theater of war. Their engagements included Island No. 10, Perryville, Murfreesboro (Stone Mountain), Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Resaca, New Hope Church, and Kenesaw Mountain.

The existence of a contingent predominantly Norwegian gave to Emigranten, and later to Fædrelandet, a specific interest in the struggle for the Union. Their concern for Lincoln and his administration and their interest in the general course of the war were sharpened by the knowledge that kith and kin were offering their lives on the national altar. In the earlier months of hostilities Emigranten said little editorially about military affairs. Beginning with the issue of April 29, 1861, the American flag appeared regularly at the head of a column of war news, translated from leading American newspapers.

Solberg, while serving for a brief period as correspondent for his paper, found his views reflected in the speculation of Winge on "the ability of the country to survive the war." {44} Conscious of the humiliating rout of Union forces at Bull Run, Winge pleaded, "Don't avoid anything necessary to restore the life and honor of the nation!" After all, he said, the North was stronger than England had been against Napoleon in 1798. Tremendous advantages, he believed, favored the North. For Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, Winge expressed only contempt. Rumor had it that Davis had died. If death had really overtaken him, Winge declared, then the paper would "regret that the gallows was cheated of its due." {45}

War developments of the year 1862 brought no editorial response whatsoever from Solberg. Even the passage of the Homestead Act, long advocated in Emigranten and promised by Wisconsin Republicans, provoked no remark. Activities of the Lincoln administration and military events fared likewise. The repulse of General Lee's attempted invasion, at Antietam Creek, Maryland, in September, drew no comment. One wonders whether the editor was displeased with Lincoln's early display of magnanimity toward the South and with the apparent delay in bringing superior Northern man power and material resources to bear. There was reason to doubt the competence of many high-ranking Union officers, political appointees. {46} Moreover, the Fifteenth Wisconsin had played no important role as yet. Claus M. Clausen, chaplain of the regiment, reported forty-five deaths from disease when he was near Jacinto, Mississippi. {47} But Solberg's taciturnity in 1862 indicated no change in political loyalty. Prior to the fall elections he strongly recommended his Republican friend John A. Johnson for reelection as clerk of Dane County. {48} And he was pleased to see a partial report of the field balloting of the Fifteenth Wisconsin, wherein six of the ten companies voted Republican almost to a man. {49} Republican reversals in the fall elections notwithstanding, Norwegian immigrants did not lose faith in their champion in the White House. Unlike the abolitionists, who deplored Lincoln's failure to include the slaves of the border states in his Emancipation Proclamation, they approved of the chief executive's policy, first announced on September 22, 1862.

Lincoln's actions of the year 1863 met with warmer response in Emigranten. The Emancipation Proclamation, promising freedom to slaves in enemy states as rapidly as the states were conquered, became effective on New Year's Day. Solberg published the document in full in Norwegian. {50} The president's proclamation of April 30 as a day of national prayer was observed with a special front-page sermon by Professor C. W. Walther of the German Concordia Seminary of St. Louis. {51} Even "Lincoln's latest witticism" did not go unnoticed, a story concerning a foreign visitor who requested a pass to Richmond, the Confederate capital. Lincoln drolly informed his guest that such a pass would hardly be honored by the Confederate government. He had given a pass to the whole Union Army, he said, and they had not been admitted! {52} Later in the year Solberg was moved to reply extensively in English to the charge of antiadministration forces that the Republicans were "nigger worshipers." Neither party, said he, trying to be fair, worshiped the Negro. He was convinced that the North simply looked upon slavery as morally wrong and did not necessarily exalt the Negro. {53}

Solberg's degree of loyalty to the Union and Lincoln -- and the two were not inseparable -- is well illustrated in his attitude toward opposition Democrats. The issue of unity versus secession came more clearly into focus with the incendiary remarks of Clement F. Vallandigham, Democratic representative from the state of Ohio, who denounced the war as cruel and unjustified and urged immediate cessation of hostilities. Under his program the Confederacy would, of course, be allowed to stand, and a truncated United States would fashion its own destiny without the South.

To Vallandigham's pacifist plea Solberg was not at all receptive. He deplored the suggestion that the South should be permitted to withdraw. He surmised that it might not be possible to suppress the rebellion by constitutional means. The Republican party itself, he pointed out, had declared unconstitutional any interference with the slavery system in the South. But if the Union could be preserved only by continuing the war, the question of constitutionality would have to rest. In the final analysis there was nothing more unconstitutional, he declared, than to advocate a dissolution of the Union. {54} Lincoln's reply to the Ohio Democrats, prompted by Vallandigham's suggestion, was published with approval in Emigranten the following summer. {55}

The spring editorial also admitted that Lincoln's administration was not without fault. Lincoln's peace efforts, according to Solberg, were not the best. Perhaps his proclamation of Negro emancipation and his suspension of habeas corpus were beyond his authority. Yet Solberg stood by the president in his general suspension on September 14, 1863, of the cherished writ, however important the right of freedom from unwarranted arrest might be in American annals. {56} Congress had authorized the suspension.

The files of Emigranten demonstrate increasing support of both Lincoln and the Union in 1863. Not that Solberg had ever espoused anything but Unionist sentiments, but he became more articulate with the passage of time. Lincoln's moderation, mixed with firmness, won from Solberg in late summer a significant word of praise. "Our present president is a Christian and patriotic man," he declared. No doubt the fact that state elections were impending helped to bring forth the commendation. Republican Solberg continued to be. He conceded that the Wisconsin Democratic state convention had named candidates of better quality than usual, none of them being drunkards or corrupt politicians, as he put it. But the times offered no alternative. The Union must come first. {57} Republican nominations for the governor's office and others, though no Scandinavians were included, were approved as a matter of course. {58}

----End of Part 2----

Meanwhile, the Fifteenth Wisconsin had stood guard opposite Island No. 10, fifty miles below Cairo, Illinois, during a part of March and April, 1862. This, the regiment's first assignment, proved undramatic and tiresome. The island was given up by the Confederates in April. Leaving two companies behind him in June, Colonel Heg proceeded, according to orders, to move with the remaining eight. The regiment next came under the command of General Rosecrans at Corinth, Missouri. From Missouri it was ordered (July 20) to Jacinto, Mississippi, from where Chaplain Clausen reported the first deaths, all but one from disease. {59}

The regiment's first ordeal under fire in the battle of Perryville, Kentucky (October 8, 1862), went unreported in Emigranten. {60} Greater personal interest in the war was to be expected as sons, husbands, and brothers prepared for the military decision on western battlefields in 1863. Frequently the Madison newspaper printed individual letters from Norwegian soldiers encamped in Tennessee and elsewhere. Major Ole C. Johnson reported on the participation of the Fifteenth Wisconsin in the battle of Murfreesboro (Stone River), Tennessee, December 31, 1862 to January 2, 1863. Significantly, the letter was written in English to his brother John A. Johnson of Madison and translated into Norwegian for the benefit of readers. In a three-column account Major Johnson pointed out that there were 111 casualties, including 18 deaths, among the 312 men then composing the regiment. {61} Had not Bragg's last attack been repulsed by Rosecrans, the North might have suffered a disastrous defeat. Indecisive though it was, Murfreesboro was hailed as an important victory in the North. Important also was its effect upon foreign powers, who now doubted very seriously the advisability of recognizing the Confederate States of America.

With the exception of letters from the field, Emigranten chose to be sparing in words concerning the Norwegian military role. Correspondence was intended to speak for itself, while the general course of the war and broader issues were presented from American news sources without editorial embellishment. Events of the late summer and fall of 1863, notably the battles of Chickamauga (September 19-20) and Chattanooga (November 23-25), were to affect more touchingly the feelings of Norwegian America, however stoical Solberg might choose to remain. Casualties were not so heavy as at Murfreesboro, but the forced withdrawal of the Confederates from Chattanooga, an important railroad center, marked a turning point in the war. And it was at Chickamauga that Colonel Heg met his death.

The report of the Chickamauga engagement, presented in Emigranten a week after the battle, bore no mention of Heg's fatal wound on September 19 or of his death on the day following. The ill-informed editor interpreted the outcome not as an error in tactics by Rosecrans but as a successful effort to foil Bragg and the Confederates in their attempt to re-enter Chattanooga and to regain control of Tennessee. {62} Eyewitness accounts of the two-day battle appeared in October in Solberg's paper and in January in Fædrelandet, the new arrival on the journalistic scene. Major Wilson of the Fifteenth Wisconsin reported certain casualties, including Heg, and the succession of Ole C. Johnson, now lieutenant colonel, to Heg's command. {63} In a letter dated November 3 the new commander transmitted to his brother in Madison his personal impressions of Chickamauga, as he had done after Murfreesboro. {64}

In brief, Johnson's account of the first day at Chickamauga emphasizes the precarious position of the regiment on the outer right of the line of battle. Withdrawal of other regiments within the corps necessitated withdrawal of the Fifteenth, caught between two lines of fire and in greater danger from friendly troops to the rear than from the enemy. The Confederates precipitated a rout, the Union forces fleeing over an open field without protective cover. The Fifteenth was broken up. There were no deserters from the regiment, in spite of the golden opportunity presented for men who were inclined to leave the army.

Meanwhile, Johnson learned of Colonel Heg's wound, and that evening he managed to see his superior for the last time. Prior to the battle Heg had been given command of a brigade in General Davis's division. He was in line for early promotion to the rank of brigadier general. {65} The brigade included, of course, the Fifteenth Wisconsin. During the fighting Heg demonstrated courageous leadership; one horse was shot beneath him while he was cheering his men on. It was while he was encouraging another regiment that the deadly bullet struck. He made his way a quarter of a mile to his own Norwegian regiment, whence loss of blood from an abdominal wound necessitated his removal to a field hospital. He died the next day. {66}

On the second day of Chickamauga, September 20, the Union forces fared no better. Having retreated westward to form a new line nearer Chattanooga, the Fifteenth again found itself on the right wing. According to Johnson, who commanded what was left of the 176 men of the regiment, the Fifteenth was again without adequate support. The enemy pushed back flanking regiments, leaving Johnson and 25 men no choice but surrender. His final judgment, written at a later date, was that there was no support on the flanks on the first day and that on the second day the flanking regiments themselves were exposed and had to withdraw. {67}

From the standpoint of military tactics Rosecrans blundered at Chickamauga, but Emigranten failed to suspect an error which doubtless was not generally known in the North at the time. Charles A. Dana, sent by Secretary of War Stanton to report the movements of Rosecrans against Bragg, observed that on the day of battle the Union lines were dangerously thin and extended on the right and in the center, in the interest of strengthening Thomas on the left. More particularly, Rosecrans ordered the withdrawal of Wood's division from the already weakened center. Longstreet's Confederate veterans proceeded to exploit this wide opening to the greatest advantage. Thus the corps of McCook, of which the Fifteenth Wisconsin was a part, found it expedient to withdraw toward Chattanooga. {68}

With some allowance for possible personal rivalry with Rosecrans, the reflections of Ulysses S. Grant on the battle of Chickamauga may be appropriate. {69} Grant believed that Rosecrans should have moved against Bragg in Chattanooga much earlier, as in fact Rosecrans had been ordered to do by Halleck, in supreme command of the Union Army. Reinforced by Longstreet from Virginia, Bragg took the initiative and forced Rosecrans to retire to Chattanooga, after a serious defeat involving 16,000 casualties. Thomas' corps on the left stood its ground and arrived later in good order in Chattanooga, a feat which earned for Thomas the title "the rock of Chickamauga." {70}

Solberg of Emigranten, who knew Heg personally and had warmly supported him in organizing the Fifteenth Wisconsin, reacted with unusual serenity to the news of Chickamauga. He sketched the history of the regiment and announced the battle casualties as 5 killed, 40 wounded, and 41 taken prisoner. Concerning Heg, the reticent editor wrote that he was generally admitted to have been the best prison commissioner in Wisconsin history. {71} Nothing was said of his military career.

More sensitive to the Norwegian military contribution and more openly appreciative of Heg's symbolic role was Fædrelandet in a belated account. Reproducing a picture of Heg, Editor Frederick explained that Heg's personal contribution was not so important as his demonstration of what Americans of coming generations would owe to the Norwegians. It was regrettable, he thought, that "the many thousands of Scandinavians who served in the Union Army" did not follow the example of the Fifteenth Wisconsin and organize their own regiments. {72} So the intrepid Heg was accorded limited praise in the Norwegian-American journals. The federal government erected a monument to Heg's memory at Chickamauga. {73} Funds were gathered in 1865 among Norwegians in America for the purpose of raising a monument to the memory of Heg and all fallen Norwegian Americans. This project was sponsored by Knud Langeland, pioneer editor, and was carried out successfully, as any visitor to Heg's grave in Norway churchyard, Racine County, can testify. {74} Bronze statues of Heg were erected at the Wisconsin State Capitol and at Lier, Heg's birthplace, in Norway. {75}


Many Norwegian officers and men, scattered among the infantry regiments of Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Iowa, gave their lives in the cause of the Union. In the Fifteenth Wisconsin one third of the original 900 were killed or died of wounds or disease. {76} Waldemar Ager reports that casualties ran considerably higher than in other units. {77} But it was Colonel Heg, more than any other, who personified the Norwegian contribution toward preserving national unity. His early death was considered the more tragic because of his prospective career in American politics. Despite the esteem of some of his contemporaries, however, it is unlikely that he would have developed into a great political leader for Scandinavian-born Americans. Heg's chief claim to fame lay in his military record. {78}

With the passing of the critical year of 1868 Emigranten looked hopefully toward an early and successful end to the war. "How long will the war last?" inquired Solberg in the space regularly given to war news and Washington affairs. He reminded his readers that the Confederacy had exceeded all expectations in holding out against the Union forces. This he credited to Southern unity, preparation, full barns and warehouses at the outset of hostilities, and European sympathy for the South. Like the North generally, Solberg had little comprehension of the dire straits of the Davis government in the first three years of the war, what with the persistence of states'-rights feelings, acute shortages of food and military supplies, and wholesale desertions from the army. Four months after Chickamauga he was probably better posted on Confederate conditions. Gratitude impelled him to remark, "God allows everything to thrive among us, and we do not feel any effects of the war except the absence of friends and relatives in the army and high prices on certain articles of trade." He predicted that another campaign would finish the South. He asked why the war could not end the next summer. {79} While supporting Lincoln in a call for 200,000 additional soldiers, Solberg prayed, "God grant that this sacrifice may bear the right fruit." {80}

The initial number of Fædrelandet made no special reference to the war. The paper was launched in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on January 14, 1864. The editors, Frederick Fleischer and Johan Schrøder, described the new organ as "An Independent Union Paper for Right and Truth." They declared the American republic to be a "glorious institution" and announced that they would support Lincoln for the present. Fædrelandet, they said, was not to be a religious paper. English would be used occasionally, it was explained, and agricultural news would be emphasized, since the majority of the readers would be farmers. It was stated that the new organ for disseminating news would assume the defense of Norwegian immigrant interests. {81}

The editors of Fædrelandet wanted to make themselves clear to the American public. In English they contended that Norwegians were induced to leave their native mountains because of the lack of natural resources and not the lack of political or personal freedom in Norway. With but a thinly veiled reference to the more volatile Irish they declared, "We do not intend to establish a Norway in America." Norwegians, they said, brought with them no hatred toward governmental institutions. Norwegian immigrants hoped "to become not only adopted citizens but loyal citizens." {82} More seriously than their journalistic predecessors, Fleiseher and Schrøder attempted to acquaint Norwegians with the English language. They printed war news from American sources with little interpretation or opinion of their own. "The War with the Sioux Indians" appeared in serial form on the front pages during the winter and spring. Several installments of "The Art of Taming Wild Horses" came to an end on May 12. General Grant was featured in a picture and a front-page article. {83} On May 26 the four-page weekly increased the number of its columns from seven to nine. The Norwegian lion still guarded the top of page one.

Johan Schrøder, co-founder of Fædrelandet, was associated with the paper only until the summer of 1865. He had visited numerous Norwegian settlements in the United States and Canada in 1863 and he provided an excellent personal contact for the paper. He incorporated the findings of his extensive travels, including population estimates, in a book published by himself at La Crosse in 1867. {84} In the same year Schrøder served as secretary to Hans Mattson, well-known Swedish-American Civil War veteran, who was then secretary of state of Minnesota and a member of the state board of immigration, {85} Little is known of Schrøder's activities in the seventies. A continued interest in journalism led him to found Normanna banner (Banner of the Northmen) at Fergus Falls, Minnesota, in 1881. After supporting Knute Nelson for Congress in the campaign of 1882, this paper ceased publication. {86}

----End of Part 3----

Frederick Fleischer was to be one of the more influential figures in Norwegian-American journalism in years to come. He was born in a Lutheran parsonage at Vaaler, Norway, in 1821. Before his arrival in the United States in 1852 he had been engaged in legal practice and in business. Adverse circumstances hastened his decision to give up business. No doubt the gold fever that smote numerous adventurers after the California strike in 1848 also attracted him to American shores. After experimenting with gold digging and other activities, Fleischer went to Wisconsin in 1861. The first two years of the Civil War found him sailing on Lake Michigan and teaching school in Lafayette County in southwestern Wisconsin. In 1863 he moved to La Crosse. {87}

Fleischer assisted his cousin Knud Fleischer in editing Emigranten. Hansen, in "Pressen," Festskrift, 32, also indicates that Frederick Fleischer worked for a short time with Emigranten. Knud Fleischer was acting editor of the paper from 1854 to 1857, before Frederick's arrival in Wisconsin. The writer finds no evidence that Frederick assisted his cousin in the fifties.

As a Norwegian center La Crosse was becoming increasingly important when Fædrelandet was established there. Among several active Norwegian organizations in the city was the Scandinavian Association, organized on March 31, 1864. The recently arrived Fleischer was elected vice-president of the association, which extended financial aid to Scandinavian immigrants. Many newcomers intending to settle in Minnesota or upper Wisconsin had to content themselves with stopping at La Crosse when they ran out of funds. {88}

In view of the similar political views of Emigranten and Fædrelandet in 1864, the establishment of a newspaper on the banks of the Mississippi River would appear to have been superfluous. On the contrary, however, the tide of Norwegian immigration continued to flow westward from Chicago and from Madison with little interruption during the war. {89} Since 1858 the La Crosse and Milwaukee Railroad had been in operation, and by 1860 La Crosse County alone contained 1,347 Norwegians. {90} Fleischer's choice of location was therefore most promising for the paper.

With leanings toward Republicanism and toward the Norwegian Synod, the "independent Union paper" declared for Lincoln's policies and his re-election in 1864. {91} Following the Republican national convention at Baltimore in the spring, Fleischer accepted the Lincoln-Johnson ticket as good news. He compared Lincoln with Washington and credited the tall and ungainly man from Illinois with having made a good administration in difficult times. Andrew Johnson, vice-presidential candidate from Tennessee, he knew to be a War Democrat. But Johnson's party affiliation was more than offset, he believed, by his sterling character and his loyalty to the Union. {92} In a plea to Scandinavian Democrats, Fleischer argued that General George B. McClellan, nominated at the Democratic national convention late in August, stood for aristocracy. Moreover, he reminded them, the Democratic party was strongly supported by Irishmen and Germans "who never knew what the constitution contains.'' Of special interest to Norwegian Lutherans was his remark to the effect that Germans in the Democratic party were lacking in spirituality. {93}

The approaching November election was reason enough for a crescendo of political discussion in Fædrelandet. As if to cement Norwegian ideology with the principle of national unity, Colonel Heg's picture was published and his challenging career reviewed. {94} Norwegians were urged to keep abreast of the times and to beware of political tricksters, whose real aim was to overthrow the Republican administration in order that they might reap the spoils of office. {95}

In the spring and summer of 1864 Solberg of Emigranten also stressed the necessity of Lincoln's re-election. He first pointed toward the impending contest in a favorable introduction to certain arguments for re-election presented in the Atlantic Monthly. {96} Jefferson Davis' message to the Confederate Congress (Richmond, May 2) was given two columns, but not without an editorial denunciation of the speech as a dangerous concoction of truth and falsehood. {97} Appropriately for the Norwegian Republican organ, however, the Union platform and the nomination of Lincoln and Johnson were approved. {98} Lincoln's acceptance speech and a review of Johnson's career also merited publication. {99} In marked contrast were the reactions of the New York World, the New York Tribune, and other leading Northern journals. The World regretted that "the age of rail-splitters and tailors, of buffoons, boors, and fanatics" had succeeded the age of statesmen. It regarded the nomination of such "third-rate backwoods lawyers" as Lincoln and Johnson as "an insult to the common sense of the people." "God save the republic," it concluded somewhat despairingly. {100} Undoubtedly the fresh memory of General Burnside's refusal to allow the World to circulate in his department still rankled in the mind. Nor did Lincoln's order in May for the arrest of the World's editor, proprietor, and publisher help matters. The Tribune, less vitriolic in its criticism, felt that it would have been wiser to nominate a presidential candidate free from the hates and spites of the past four years. Now it would be more difficult to disprove charges that Lincoln wished to prolong the war and aimed to sacrifice certain military leaders. {101} Solberg contended that, although Lincoln's administration might have been better, he must be returned to office as the lesser of two evils. He thought that the withdrawal of John Charles Fremont, choice of the Republican radicals, assured Lincoln the victory. {102}

The re-election of the Great Emancipator was by no means certain in the summer of 1864. Even in Norway there was skepticism over his cause and a desire for a Democratic victory. {103} On December 8, 1863, Lincoln had disappointed many in his own party by granting amnesty to "rebels" who would swear allegiance to the United States. His suspension of habeas corpus earlier in the war was unpopular among many who feared executive encroachment. Above all, there was general dissatisfaction with Grant's unpromising effort to end the war in a great campaign in 1864. In consequence, a radical Republican element sought to forestall Lincoln's renomination by meeting in Cleveland in May and nominating Fremont, Republican candidate of 1856. Among the demands of this convention, of only 400 men, were a constitutional amendment prohibiting slavery, assurance that Congress rather than the president would have control of reconstruction, and outright confiscation of Confederate property.

Fortunately for the National Union party, as the regular Republicans had chosen to call themselves, a favorable change in the military outlook for the North and an almost equally favorable diversity of opinion among the Democrats developed during September. Reports of Sherman's capture of Atlanta circulated in the North in the first week of September. News of Sheridan's success in the Shenandoah Valley came toward the end of the month. The Democrats, evidently delaying their convention in hopes of capitalizing on possible further military failures, had met on August 29. Clement L. Vallandigham, widely known for his desire for peace even at the cost of disunion, wrote into the platform a plank urging immediate cessation of hostilities and reunion of North and South, if possible, by peaceable means. A five-column report of the Democratic convention was published without comment in Emigranten. {104} General McClellan's personal repudiation of the peace plank did little to stem the tide of pro-Lincoln sentiment incident to the welcome military advances. Among others, the New York Tribune swung from a position of criticism to one of unqualified support of Lincoln. The alternative to his reelection, it stated, could be nothing but McClellan, disunion, and a quarter-century of war. {105} Under these circumstances Fremont withdrew his candidacy on September 21 in the interests of the Union, as Solberg put it. {106}

As a final word of advice to readers Solberg published a two-column message by Langeland, who from his farm in Racine County discussed the question "What is my duty as an enlightened citizen?" {107} In spite of McClellan's desire to carry the war to a successful conclusion, his election would accomplish nothing toward abolishing slavery, according to Langeland the cause of the rebellion. The former editor of Democraten disclaimed any intention of seeking personal favor from Lincoln or his party, acidly declaring that he had been passed by whenever the Norwegian vote had contributed toward Republican triumphs in Wisconsin. Here, he said, were three hundred thousand aristocratic slaveholders standing in the way of progress for twenty-five million workers representing democracy. Tired of the synodical defense of slavery on Biblical grounds, he emphasized that his attack was political. That this immigrant spokesman, soon to take up the pen with Skandinaven in Chicago, was more than provincial in his views is eloquently shown in the heart of his message: "The American strife is nothing new -- it is not America's alone. Basically, it is a continuation of the greater world struggle which mankind has had to carry on -- from childhood to manhood, from darkness to light, from barbarism to civilization, from servitude to freedom, from the world to God!" No last-minute appeal was published by Solberg.

Fleiseher of Fædrelandet also offered strong advice on the eve of election. He prophesied that one who committed the error of casting his ballot for McClellan would have posterity point to his grave and say, "There lies one of those who, blind and confused in party strife, voted for McClellan and immediate peace, thereby fostering eternal war." {108}

The turn in military fortunes in the weeks prior to election day worked mightily in favor of Lincoln. Returns gave him 212 electoral votes, McClellan only 21. Though the immigrant vote was hardly decisive, it is probable that the overwhelming majority of Swedes and Norwegians, and three fourths of the Germans, voted for the former rail-splitter. {109} The Irish generally voted Democratic. Fleischer now gave it as his opinion that the presidential contest had settled the most important political question the American Union had ever faced. In much the same spirit as Langeland he asserted that freedom, enlightenment, and humanity had triumphed over their opposites -- slavery, ignorance, and brutality. {110}

In Emigranten the election results elicited only casual response from Solberg. {111} He shortly made it clear that he had "spoken of his [Lincoln's] shortcomings" and had treated McClellan as a gentleman. He praised the Norwegians for refraining from violence in politics and declared that they should cling to the Lutheran Church as the surest guarantee of preserving their stability. {112} The president's annual message was published in translation, Solberg complimenting Lincoln on his no-compromise peace policy and his recommendation that Congress enact legislation abolishing slavery. {113} Thus did Lincoln belatedly satisfy the demand of the radical Republicans of the previous May.

Judging from the absence of expressed editorial opinion on the war in 1865, the conclusion is almost inescapable that nonmilitary articles and local and foreign news occupied the minds of Solberg and Fleischer and their respective clienteles. To the lengthy report of the secretary of the navy, Gideon Welles, Solberg was nevertheless proud to append the remark that "the American Republic is now the world's greatest sea power." {114} No special stir accompanied Lincoln's second inauguration, with his "malice toward none" and "charity for all," though the presidential ball of March 7 evoked unfavorable comment on ethical grounds from the Reverend A. C. Preus. {115} During these months the Emigranten spokesman chose to play upon the anti-Catholic sentiments of the Norwegians. A year before, he had taken from American papers certain alleged correspondence between Jefferson Davis and Pope Pius IX. Davis was represented as thanking His Holiness for his efforts to bring peace. {116} Now, in the wake of the papal "Syllabus of Errors" (December 8, 1864) directed against liberal and modern tendencies, three columns were given to discussion of papal naiveté in expecting by a mere statement to destroy "freedom of expression," to use Solberg's words. How such a person could thrive "in the midst of civilization and Christendom" puzzled him. {117} Suspicious criticism of the Catholic Church continued to flow from his pen and the pens of correspondents. {118} One wonders to what lengths the editor of Emigranten would have gone had he known that General Rosecrans, who failed at Chickamauga, was a devout Catholic. Or, if he did know, one wonders at his restraint.

As evidence of continued concern for the welfare and enlightenment of Norwegians in Minnesota, who to a considerable extent were served by Fædrelandet, Fleiseher addressed a special editorial to them urging that they write their state legislators requesting that the governor's message and other state documents be published in Norwegian as well as English. {119} The suggestion had been ridiculed, it was said, by a state representative, who said he would just as soon have the messages printed in the Winnebago tongue were it not for the fact that the Winnebago tribe had already moved to Dakota.

Although the war was still in progress in the spring of 1865, the Norwegian journals speaking from Madison and La Crosse anticipated an early and victorious ending. Solberg's criticism of papal policy and Fleischer's jealous guardianship of Norwegian interests had one thing in common. Both envisioned the United States, reborn of blood and fire, as the permanent domicile of their blood brothers in America. Solberg abhorred the thought of foreign control or interference, papal or otherwise. Fleischer, while sensitive to possible Yankee denial of immigrant aspirations, merged his European-bred feelings into the general stream of American patriotism.

It was the cataclysmic news of the assassination of Lincoln that brought forth from the two Wisconsin papers the most genuine respect for his personal character and the deepest appreciation of his public services. The president's death on the morning of April 15 greatly modified the perspective of erstwhile critics. The faults of the weary war executive were submerged in the nation's grief. Fædrelandet first carried five black-edged columns, strictly from American press sources, with no editorial comment. {120} The following week Fleischer produced not only a biographical sketch of Lincoln but also a sharp editorial laying the blame for the murder at the door of the Democratic party. Booth was a hired assassin, he wrote. Democratic papers suggested assassination in certain articles in 1864, according to Fleischer, who proceeded to quote from an unnamed opposition paper: "If he is elected to misgovern for another four years, we trust some bold hand will pierce his heart with a dagger point for the public good. . . . Do it before his new term commences! . . . If he in the future as in the past misgoverns the nation, he never will live to finish his term." {121}

Less sweeping in his accusation, Solberg of Emigranten charged the murder to the "rebels" rather than to the Democrats. This judgment appears to have been prevalent in Union circles, where indignation followed sorrow. "Magnanimity to the beaten foe was the sentiment of Monday; a cry for justice and vengeance, a demand that the 'leaders of the rebellion' should be hanged, was heard everywhere on Saturday." {122} Solberg's resentment, however, was strongly tempered by a conviction that the hand of God was visible in the death of the "martyr for freedom." Within the customary black border appeared the "terrible news." {123} Rejoicing over the recent surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox, said Solberg, was now changed to pain and bitterness. "Abraham Lincoln," he eulogized, "was beloved by the people as no other president has been since the days of Washington. Trust in his wisdom and confidence had during the latest developments become just as unbounded as his gentleness and patience with his government's enemies was great and genuine. He was in truth the 'Father of his Country.' . . . The Almighty in his unfathomable wisdom," Solberg continued, "can make his very death of benefit to country and people. God save the republic!" A week later it was stated that Lincoln, like Moses, had guided his people through the wilderness and that his name would live "as long as the American Union stands and human deeds are honored.'' {124}

From this brief study, it appears that the Norwegian immigrant press of the Civil War period exerted a Republican influence, favorable to Lincoln and the Union. Neither in the files of Emigranten nor of Fædrelandet are bitter attacks upon the president or severe criticism of administrative policy likely to be found. It lay not within the power of the pacifist Vallandigham on the one hand or of the abolitionist Greeley on the other to lure Solberg and Fleischer into an extremist camp. Together with Lincoln they and their Norwegian readers subscribed to the idea of maintaining the Union.

That the Norwegian-American press reflected a growing patriotism, induced in part by the war, there can be no doubt. Norwegian-born soldiers became more conscious of their responsibility toward the federal government and of their potentialities as American citizens. Relatives and friends behind the lines were similarly affected. If the editorial views of Emigranten and Faedrelandet were conditioned during the first two years by Northern military failures and during the last two years by more cheering news from the battle front, they showed themselves to be anything but vacillating in matters of principle. Far from being obstructive, these editors exhibited a critical and intelligent loyalty to Lincoln and the Union, a loyalty which characterized the majority of Americans of Norwegian birth. Not less appreciative were their descendants, for whom the long shadow east by the speaker at Gettysburg signified American democracy at its best and the spiritual oneness of all mankind.

----End of Part 4----


<1> Fædrelandet, the second paper of the war period, appeared in 1864. Two religious journals, Kirkelig maanedstidende (Monthly Church Times) and Norsk luthersk kirketidende (Norwegian Lutheran Church Times), are not included in this study, though they are not without significance as organs of opinion on American public affairs. The first represented the Norwegian Synod, while the second, less clerical, opposed the state church tradition. Both were founded in 1851. See Carl Hansen, "Pressen til borgerkrigens slutnung" (The Press till the Close of the Civil War), Norsk-amerikanernes festskrift, 14 (Decorah, Iowa, 1914); also Theodore C. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America: The American Transition, 302 (Northfield, 1940).

<2> Hansen, "Pressen," Festskrift. 28.

<3> For Solberg's own story, see "Reminiscences of a Pioneer Editor," Studies and Records, l:134-144 (Minneapolis, 1926). The article, edited by Albert O. Barton, is a report of an interview with Solberg in 1919.

<4> Emigranten, May 21, 1860.

<5> Emigranten, June 11, 1860.

<6> New York Herald, September 24, November 6, 1860, and New York Tribune, November 8, 1860, quoted in Edward C. Kirkland, The Peacemakers of 1864, 31 (New York, 1927).

<7> Emigranten, September 17, 1860.

<8> Emigranten. October 29, 1860.

<9> November 12, 1860.

<10> Emigranten. February 4, 1861.

<11> Emigranten, February 18, 1861.

<12> Emigranten, March 4, 1861.

<13> Emigranten. March 11, 1861.

<14> American Historical Review, 16:774-778 (July, 1911). See also Donnal V. Smith, "The Influence of the Foreign-born of the Northwest in the Election of 1860," Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 19:192-204 (September, 1932).

<15> Joseph Schafer attributes Lincoln's victory to "an upsurge of moral enthusiasm and determination on the part of the distinctly American folk" and believes that the vote of the foreign born was not determinative. See his "Who Elected Lincoln?" American Historical Review, 47:51-63 (October, 1941).

<16> Andreas Dorpalen, "The German Element and the Issues of the Civil War," Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 29:72 (June, 1942).

<17> The writer intends to deal in a separate article with the position of the Norwegian-American press on Negro slavery. For a scholarly discussion of the proslavery attitude among ministerial leaders of the Norwegian Synod the reader is referred to Blegen, Norwegian Migration: American Transition, 418-455.

<18> The federal census of 1860 reported 29,557 Norwegians in the state of Wisconsin.

<19> Though Lincoln won only 40 per cent of the total popular vote, he polled 170 electoral votes. Breckinridge drew 72, Bell 39, and Douglas 12.

<20> Emigranten, March 25, 1861.

<21> Emigranten, May 27, 1861.

<22> Emigranten, April 8, 1861. On Dietrichson's orthodox missionary work see Blegen, Norwegian Migration: American Transition, 141-144. His insistence upon form annoyed his own parishioners as well as the followers of Hans Nilsen Hauge, mid-century pietistic leader who had clashed with the church in Norway.

<23> Emigranten, November 17, 1862.

<24>A year earlier -- November 7, 1861 -- the London Times drew this comparison: "The contest is really for empire on the side of the North, and for independence on that of the South, and in this respect we recognize an exact analogy between the North and the government of George III, and the South and the thirteen revolted provinces. These opinions may be wrong, but they are the general opinions of the English nation." Quoted in Thomas A. Bailey, A Diplomatic History of the American People, 348 (New York, 1946).

<25> Emigranten, April 23, 1861.

<26> Several Norwegian-American writers believe that one Norwegian in every six volunteered, while only one native American in every eight did so. See Olof N. Nelson, ed., History of the Scandinavians and Successful Scandinavians in the United States, 1:1104 (Minneapolis, 1900); Hansen, "Pressen," Festkrift, 39; and Julius E. Olson, "Literature and the Press," in Harry Sundby-Hansen, ed., Norwegian Immigrant Contributions to America's Making, 127 (New York, 1921).

<27> Waldemar Ager estimates between 6,000 and 7,000, including 4,000 from Wisconsin alone. See his "Nordmænd i den nord-amerikanske borgerkrig," in Norge i Amerika, 399-403, edited by Nordahl Rolfsen (Christiania, 1915). See also Nelson, ed., Scandinavians in the United States. 1:303, 2:66-68, 119-121. Adjutant generals' reports from Minnesota and Iowa give approximately 800 and 400 respectively for those states. Nelson bases an estimate of 3,000 for Wisconsin upon unpublished records of the adjutant general.

<28> Apart from the Fifteenth Wisconsin Regiment, Company H of the Twenty-seventh Wisconsin was the only Norwegian unit in the Union Army. Company H included 94 of the 146 Norwegians of the regiment. See Waldemar Ager, Oberst Heg og hans gutter (Colonel Heg and His Boys), 320 (Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 1916). Unofficial reports by regimental correspondents to Emigranten reveal that there were 323 Norwegians in eight Wisconsin regiments (August l2, 1861, to March 30, 1863); 46 in the Twelfth Iowa (March 30, 1863); an unspecified number in the Eighth, Tenth, and Thirteenth Kansas (March 23, 1863); 15 Scandinavians. probably mainly Norwegians, in the Forty-fifth Wisconsin (June 12, 1865); and 80 Scandinavians in the First Regiment of the New York National Guard (August 12, 1861).

<29> Emigranten, March 2, 1863.

<30> Fædrelandet, July 21, 1864.

<31> Three accounts of the Fifteenth Wisconsin have been published : John A. Johnson, Det skandinaviske regiments historie (La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1869: Ole A. Buslett, Det femtende regiment Wisconsin frivillige (Decorah, Iowa, 1895); and Ager, Oberst Heg. See also Theodore C. Blegen, ed., The Civil War Letters of Colonel Hans Christian Heg (Northfield, 1936).

<32> September 2. Johnson's letter was dated August 31.

<33> Emigranten, September 30, 1861. The other seven signers were Adolph Sørensen, John A. Johnson, Knud J. Fleischer, Christian Winge, S. Samuelsen, Ole Torgersen, and Christian Colding. Their appeal was dated September 28

<34> See Theodore C. Blegen, "Colonel Hans Christian Heg," Wisconsin Magazine of History, 4:140-165 (December, 1920).

<35> Emigranten, April 1, 1861.

<36> August 12, 19, 1861.

<37> Solberg's account of how he first learned of Heg's military plans may be found in his "Reminiscences," Studies and Records, 1:184-144.

<38> Emigranten, November 4, 1861.

<39> November 18, 1861.

<40> Said the New York Times, November 17, 1861, in congratulating Captain

<41> Emigranten, January 27, 1862.

<42> Emigranten, February 3, 1862. Reese had served as editor of Emigranten (1852-1854), of Den norske amerikaner (1857), of Nordstjernen (1857-1858), and of Folkebladet (1860). Until 1860 his political inclinations were Democratic.

<43> Emigranten, March 17, 24, 1862.

<44> Emigranten, August 26, 1861.

<45> Emigranten, September 9, 1861.

<46> In a letter of September 5, 1862, to his wife, Colonel Heg stated that after the war "our government will not be cursed with so many reckless dishonest politicians, for they are mostly in the army as officers and will be killed off." Blegen, ed.. Letters of Colonel Heg, 155.

<47> Emigranten, August 18, 1862. As of August 1 only one member of the unit had been killed. The rest had succumbed to pneumonia, dysentery, diarrhea, typhoid, tuberculosis, and cholera.

<48> Emigranten, October 6, 1862.

<49> November 24, 1862. The vote was: Republican, 183; Democratic. 6.

<50> January 5, 1865.

<51> Emigranten, April 27, 1863. The sermon first appeared in Kirkelig maanedstidende.

<52> Emigranten, May 4, 1863.

<53> Emigranten, October 26, 1863.

<54> Emigranten, March 2, 1868.

<55> July 20, 1863.

<56> Emigranten, October 26, 1863.

<57> Emigranten, August 17, 1863.

<58> Emigranten, September 7, 1863.

<59> Emigranten, May 18, 1865.

<60> Union forces on that occasion outnumbered the enemy, 61,000 to 16,000. Their victory forced General Bragg to give up Kentucky and retire to Tennessee. The Fifteenth Wisconsin was assigned an inactive part and came out unscathed. See Ager, Oberst Heg, 181-184.

<61> Emigranten, January 19, 1863. The letter is dated January 7. Buslett, Femtende Wisconsin, 72, reports 119 casualties: 15 killed. 70 wounded, and 34 captured or missing. An officer of the regiment, Lieutenant P. W. Chantland, reported 116 casualties in a letter to a friend dated January 11, 1863. See Ager, Oberst Heg, 196-198.

<62> Emigranten, September 28, 1863.

<63> Emigranten, October 5, 1863. The announcement was in the form of a letter, dated September 26, from Wilson to John A. Johnson.

<64> Fædrelandet, January 14, 1864.

<65> To his wife he wrote, the day before the battle, "The 'Gen.' will call and see you the first thing you know." Blegen. ed., Letters of Colonel Heg, 246.

<66> Ager, Oberst Heg, 249.

<67> Fædrelandet, January 14, 1864. Johnson's account of his imprisonment in Richmond and his escape while being transferred to the dreaded Andersonville prison was told in Emigranten, July 4, 11, 18, 1864. He was subsequently promoted to colonel in the Fifty-third Wisconsin. Fædrelandet congratulated him, March 9, 1865.

<68> Charles A. Dana, Recollections of the Civil War, 116 (New York, 1898).

<69> It is said that Halleck offered a major-generalship to Grant or Rosecrans for the first important victory. See Oliver L. Spauldlng, Jr., "William Starke Rosecrans," in Dictionary of American Biography, 26:163 (New York. 1985).

<70> See Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs, 2:19-22 (New York, 1886). General William T. Sherman says, "General Rosecrans was so confident of success that he somewhat scattered his command, seemingly to surround and capture Bragg in Chattanooga." Memoirs, 1:374 (New York, 1891).

<71> Emigranten, October 12, 1863.

<72> Fædrelandet, August 25, 1864.

<73> The inscription reads:

<74> See Langeland's letter of February 3 in Fædrelandet, February 16, 1865. He wrote from his home in North Cape, Racine County.

<75> Blegen, Norwegian Migration: American Transition,

<76> According to one set of figures, 49 were killed in action, 33 died of wounds, and 217 died of disease, a total of 299. See William De Loss Love, Wisconsin in the War of the Rebellion, 1083 (New York, 1866).

<77> Ager, Oberst Heg, 225-227. At Murfreesboro Carlin's brigade, which then included the Fifteenth Wisconsin, suffered 627 casualties, the next highest being 483. At Chickamauga Heg's brigade suffered 580, the next highest 442. Among Wisconsin regiments the Fifteenth had 33.04 per cent casualties during the war, the next highest 29.44 per cent. Ager claims to have taken his data on the different regiments from the same sources. He refers specifically to Love, Wisconsin in the War. and to Edwin B. Quiner, Military History of Wisconsin, 324 (Chicago, 18§6).

<78> See Blegen, Norwegian Migration: American Transition, 392-394.

<79> Emigranten, January 18, 1864. A four-column review of war developments of 1865, taken from the Atlantic Monthly, appeared on January 11.

<80> Emigranten, February 8, 1864.

<81> A smaller group of Norwegians on the eastern seaboard was served by Skandinavisk post of New York City. The paper began publication late in 1865 under Gustav Øbom's editorship, and carried news of Scandinavian societies. In the West it had no appreciable influence. See Hansen, "Pressen," Festskriftt, 31.

<82> Fædrelandet, January 14, 1864.

<83> Fædrelandet, March 17, 1864.

<85> Qualey, Norwegian Settlement, 102.

<86> Johannes B. Wist, "Pressen efter borgerkrigen" (The Press after the Civil War), Festskrift, 116.

<87> Wist, "Pressen," Festskrift, 43. Wist may be in error in stating that Frederick

<88> Carl Hansen, "Der norske foreningsliv i Amerika" (Activities of the Norwegian Societies in America), Festskrift, 271.

<89> According to Blegen, there were at least 3,000 more arrivals in the period 1860--1865 than in the period 1851-1856, the previous peak period. Few came in 1868, apparently because of reports of the Sioux uprising in Minnesota in 1862. Norwegian Migration: American Transition, 387, 405-410.

<90> Qualey, Norwegian Settlement, 59, 70. The figure for the country rose to 3,381 by 1870.

<91> Fædrelandet, January 14, 1864.

<92> Fædrelandet, June 16, 1864.

<93> Fædrelandet, October 13, 1864.

<94> August 25, 1864. This particular item appears as a specimen page in Blegen, Norwegian Migration: American Transition, 393.

<95> Fædrelandet, October 27, 1864.

<96> Emigranten, May 2, 1864.

<97> Emigranten, May 30, 1864.

<98> Emigranten, June 13, 1864.

<99> Emigranten, June 20, 1864.

<100> New York World, June 9, 1864. See John B. McMaster, A History of the People of the United States during Lincoln's Administration, 506 (New York. 1927).

<101> New York Tribune, June 9, 1864, quoted in McMaster. History, Lincoln's Administration, 507.

<102> Emigranten, September 26, 1864.

<103> Blegen, Norwegian Migration: American Transition. 413.

<104> September 12, 1864.

<105> New York Tribune, September 6, 1864, quoted in McMaster, History, Lincoln's Administration

<106> Emigranten, September 2, 1864.

<107> Emigranten, October 24, 1864.

<108> Fædrelandet, November 3, 1864.

<109> George M. Stephenson, American History to 1865, 625 (New York, 1940).

<110> Fædrelandet, November 10, 1864.

<111> Emigranten, November 14, 1864.

<112> Emigranten, November 21, 1864.

<113> Emigranten, December 12, 1864. The annual message of the previous year had been published on December 14, 1865, without comment. At that time the military fortunes of the North were less promising.

<114> Emigranten, January 2, 1865.

<115> Fædrelandet, March 23, 1865. Following a news account of the ball, Preus remarked that dancing and public balls were not sinful in themselves but that circumstances had made them sinful.

<116> Emigranten, February 8, 1864.

<117> Emigranten, January 30, 1865.

<118> At least until June 12, 1865.

<119> Fædrelandet, January 12, 1865.

<120> April 20, 1865.

<121> Fædrelandet, April 27, 1865.

<122> James Ford Rhodes. History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850. 5:147 (New York. 1907).

<123> Emigranten, April 17, 1865. It was widely believed at the time that Secretary of State Seward had also died as the result of an attempt upon his life.

<124> Emigranten, April 24, 1865. The Swedish-American weekly, Hemlandet, likewise compared Lincoln to Moses; April 26, 1865.

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