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Peter Peterson (Petersen), Peder Pederson Teigen,
- Private, Company B, 15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, “The Scandinavian Regiment”,
- Born February 1, 1839, Teigen Farm, Hafslo, Kingdom of Norway
- Married Britha “Betsy” Eriksdotter, January, 1865, Crawford County, State of Wisconsin
- Died Old Soldiers Home, Town of Lisbon, State of North Dakota
- Buried Military Section, Oakwood Cemetery, Lisbon, North Dakota. His gravesite is the 4th one in, 2nd row from the north.
Peder Pederson Teigen enlisted under the name Peter Peterson in Company B of the 15th Wisconsin by Captain Ole C. Johnson on October 16, 1861, for a 3 year term of service. The men of Company B called themselves the Wergeland Guards in honor of the famous Norwegian writer and poet Henrik Wergeland. Peter was mustered into Federal service as a Private on November 16, 1861, at Camp Randall, near the City of Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin. At the time he was listed as not married and as both 20 and 21 years old. His residence was recorded as Primrose Township, Dane County, Wisconsin.
After several months at Camp Randall learning to be a soldier, Private Peterson left there in early March, 1862, with his company and regiment to join the war. From then until May, 1864, he was listed as “present.” As such he would have participated in the successful siege of Island No. 10 on the Mississippi River in the State of Tennessee, and the surprise raid on Union City, Tennessee, in March and April, 1862. That summer he would have been with the 15th on campaign through Tennessee and the States of Mississippi and Alabama. In August and September, he would have participated in the grueling 400 mile retreat with General Buell up to the City of Louisville, State of Kentucky, with the last 2 weeks being on half rations and short of water. He would have been present at the October 8, 1862, Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, which is also called the Battle of Chaplin Hills. While this was the first big battle that the 15th was in, it emerged without any fatalities. On December 26, 1862, Private Peterson would have participated in the 15th’s desperate charge upon a Confederate artillery battery at Knob Gap, Tennessee, just south of the City of Nashville. There the 15th captured a brass cannon. He would have also fought at the long, cold, wet, and bloody Battle of Stone River, Tennessee, also called the Battle of Murfreesboro, on December 30-31, 1862. It is there that the 15th first suffered serious battle casualties, and was cited for bravery. The 15th camped in the Murfreesboro area for the next 6 months, except for 2 weeks in February when it was sent to the Town of Franklin, Tennessee. In early April, 1863, Private Peterson was assigned to duty as an “orderly” at the regimental headquarters.
Beginning April 20, 1863, he was assigned to duty as a “teamster” with the regiment. As such he probably drove a wagon pulled by a team of horses or mules. Starting June 23, 1863, the regiment took part in General Rosecrans’ Tullahoma campaign. On July 3, 1863, it camped at Winchester, Tennessee. On August 17, 1863, the 15th left there to take part in General Rosecran’s Chickamauga campaign. Private Peterson may have been present at the daring early morning crossing of the Tennessee River on August 28th, which the 15th led. He may have also been present at the September 19-20, 1863, Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia — the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War — though it is doubtful he took part in the fighting. Some 63% of the 15th’s soldiers who were at Chickamauga were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner. Private Peterson would have then served with the regiment during the Confederate siege of Chattanooga, Tennessee, which began right after the battle. The siege caused severe shortages of food and firewood. It was not until the Union Army’s victorious charge up Mission Ridge on November 25, 1863, which the 15th took part in, that the siege was finally broken. In December, 1863, Private Peterson was relieved of duty as a teamster and returned to the ranks of Company B.Starting right after Mission Ridge the 15th was engaged in almost non-stop marching and counter-marching all over Eastern Tennessee throughout the Winter of 1863/1864. By many original accounts, this was the worst period of the regiment’s 3 year term of service, and Private Peterson was present for it. Poor rations, inadequate clothing and shelter, and unseasonably cold weather made these months nearly unbearable.
Starting in May, 1864, the 15th participated in General Sherman’s famous campaign to capture the City of Atlanta, Georgia. This campaign was marked by almost daily marching and/or combat for 4 months straight. It included fighting at Rocky Face Ridge in early May, at the bloody Battle of Resaca on May 14, and at the disastrous Battle of Pickett’s Mill (often called Dallas or New Hope Church) on May 27. At Pickett’s Mill the 15th suffered fearful casualties. One of them was Private Peterson, who received a “slight flesh wound lower third of right arm” from “grape shot.” On June 12, 1864, Private Peterson was admitted to Hospital No. 106 in Louisville, Kentucky. He left there on August 10, 1864, and was admitted to the Harvey U.S. Army General Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, on August 12, 1864. He was a patient there until he was “returned to duty” on September 19, 1864. After a rest following the capture of Atlanta in early September, 1864, the 15th was briefly assigned to Provost (police) duty in Chattanooga in early October. Private Peterson rejoined the regiment at some point in late September or early October, 1864. The 15th then spent several months guarding a railroad bridge at Whitesides, Tennessee. This was considered by some of the soldiers as the easiest duty of their entire war service.
Private Peterson was mustered out of Federal service along with most of the other surviving members of Company B on December 2, 1864, at Chattanooga, upon the end of his 3 year term of service. At muster out the Army, it was noted that he was due $100 in bounty money. The men of Company B were then sent back to Madison, Wisconsin, where they were paid off and the company disbanded. After the war, Peter returned to Wisconsin and within a year got married. He and his wife then farmed in Freeman Township, Bad Ax (now Vernon) County, Wisconsin. There they had 8 children. When they retired from farming in 1902 Peter and his wife moved from Freeman to the Town of Chaffee, North Dakota, to live with their son Peter O. Peterson. Later they moved into the Old Soldiers Home, which noted that he was receiving a $75 per month veterans pension from the government.Sources: Genealogical data provided by his Great Granddaughters Glenda Jo Peterson Maynard and Joan Tabak, by Curt and Kenneth Kolstad, and by Dan Boyle; Civil War Compiled Military Service Records by Office of Adjutant General of the United States (Washington, DC); Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillage [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers] by Ole A. Buslett (Decorah, Iowa, 1895); Regimental Descriptive Rolls, Volume 20 Office of the Adjutant General State of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin, 1885); Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865, Volume I Office of the Adjutant General State of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin, 1886).