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Odd Wisconsin Archive

Family Affair

When the Civil War broke out and President Lincoln called for enlistments, Wisconsin was teeming with new immigrants. Although they might have been forgiven for not wanting to get involved in the domestic quarrels of their adopted country, many felt passionately that their new homeland of united states should be preserved, and joined the Union ranks. Some regiments were made up entirely of recent immigrants: the 9th, 26th, 27th, and 45th infantries were mainly German, while Norwegians filled the ranks of the 15th, commanded by Hans Christian Heg who died at Chickamauga after sending these letters home.

The George F. Friese family (pictured here) had come to the U.S. only eight years before, but all three of them enlisted -- father, son and mother, who served as a cook and later a nurse (like many other women). Three sons of Augustus Friese, the young man pictured here, who settled in Sheboygan after the war, went on to serve in the First World War.

Discover more about our state during the Civil War at Turning Points in Wisconsin History.
:: Posted in Curiosities on January 4, 2006

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