They went to [the Civil War] under the command of one of their countrymen, Col. Hans Christian Heg. Nine hundred and six men from Wisconsin formed the “Scandinavian” regiment. This was common practice of ethnic units that joined and fought together … Governor Alexander Randall appointed Heg commander of the regiment whose official name was the 15th Wisconsin.
Before the war he had been in the Wisconsin Wide Awakes, an anti-slave-catcher militia. His religion, his country, and his life were about freedom, opportunity and progress.
His statue, and that of Lady Forward (carved by a female Wisconsin sculptor) were both knocked down and defaced recently. Those that did it said it was to make us listen, and to have a conversation. I wonder if the protestors who destroyed the statue of Col. Heg and threw it in Lake Monona heard the voices of those Norwegian boys who lay buried in their graves dug long ago, after fighting for their strongest beliefs? Did they hear them say, “We did it for you”?