Olof Liljegren – Letters from the Civil War

Today, in ArkivDigital we have Swedish American church records for the following states:

  • Illinois – 2 congregations
  • Iowa – 88 congregations
  • Kansas – 99 congregations
  • Minnesota – 125 congregations
  • Missouri – 9 congregations
  • Nebraska – 120 congregations
  • Oklahoma – 1 congregation
  • South Dakota 1 congregation
  • Wisconsin – 12 congregations

In many of these archives along with church records such as membership, birth, marriage, death, reception and dismissal records, you will often find anniversary booklets and historical notes that present a history of the congregation, ministers and early settlers. In browsing these books, one will find many items of historical and also genealogical interest.

In the archive for the Cambridge Lutheran Church in Cambridge, Minnesota, you will find a very interesting set of letters, Olof Liljegren – Our Years in the Civil War. This collection consists mostly of letters translated into English written by Olof Liljegren to his father in Sweden, Jonas Nilsson, in Boggsjö, Sundjö parish in Jämtland county between the years of 1861 and 1864.

Olof emigrated from Sweden in 1858 to North America. He served in the Third Minnesota Regiment during the Civil War and in 1865 died in the United States Army in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1865. Besides the letters written by Olof to his father, the collection also includes a letter to his sweetheart, Mary Edblad, a pioneer school teacher in Isanti County, Minnesota as well a letter from Sargent Glader to Olof’s father notifying him of Olof’s death in 1865.

olof letter 1861

Letter dated December 1861 from Olof to his father. Cambridge Lutheran Church, Minnesota, USA (MN) Vol:31 Image 20 (AID: v886267.b20) Link

In the above letter Olof writes to his father the following:

“I have not told you anything about myself. I enlisted in the U. S. Army for three years or the duration of the war. We are building up a Swedish regiment with all officers having been trained in Sweden which makes them excellent officers. The captain’s pay is $108 per month, first lieutenant, $100, 2nd lieutenant, $75, Corporal $15, and private $10 per month.

I took this step after much thought and decided my life is worth no more than the next man and if I die, I feel I can not die for a better cause than to stop slavery.”

 olof deathLetter from Sargent Glader to Olof’s father notifying him of Olof’s death dated December 17, 1865. Cambridge Lutheran Church, Minnesota, USA (MN) Vol:31 Image 80 (AID: v886267.b80) Link

“I am sending you a few lines to let you know your son Olof died in the United States Army at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, September 25, 1865. Two days before he died, I stayed with him one day and one nite. He was then so poorly he did not think he could get well. He told me to write to you and gave me authority to take card of his belongings and send his medal home to Sweden.”

To find these letters:

  • Go to app.arkivdigital.se
  • Select archive search
  • Select country, United States
  • Select state, Minnesota
  • Select Vol:31 Printed Documents

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Memory Album (Minnesalbum) from Frederic Trade Lake Baptist Church in Wisconsin

Today, in ArkivDigital we have Swedish American church records for the following states:

  • Iowa – 60 congregations
  • Kansas – 98 congregations
  • Minnesota – 106 congregations
  • Missouri – 7 congregations
  • Nebraska – 119 congregations
  • Oklahoma – 1 congregation
  • South Dakota 1 congregation
  • Wisconsin – 12 congregations

In many of these archives along with church records such as membership, birth, marriage, death, reception and dismissal records, you will often find anniversary booklets and historical notes that present a history of the congregation, ministers and early settlers. In browsing these books, one will find many items of historical and also genealogical interest. In the archives for the Frederic Trade Lake Baptist Church in Burnett County, Wisconsin, you will find a minnesalbum or a memory album.

This congregation was established on the 5th of June 1869 in Knut Anderson’s schoolhouse. Below is an image listing the names of the early congregants and where they came from in Sweden.

frederic trade blogFrederic Trade Lake Baptist Church, Wisconsin, USA (WI) Vol:25 Image 58 (AID: v904644.b58) (left side of the image)

Below is an image of John Ring, the first pastor of the church, and his wife.

john ringFrederic Trade Lake Baptist Church, Wisconsin, USA (WI) Vol:25 Image 58 (AID: v904644.b58) (right side of the image)

John Ring or Jonas Ring was born in Delsbo, Gävleborg, Sweden on the 16th of February 1829. (Note – the record in the album states that he is from Ilsbo but he was actually born in Delsbo but did live part of his life in Ilsbo.)  He and his wife and children emigrated from Sundsvall, Västernorrland. Below is the household record showing them moving to America along with a notation that he and his wife are Baptists.

ring household recordSundsvalls Gustav Adolf (Y) AI:6b (1851-1866) Image 179 / Page 468 (AID: v122499.b179.s468, NAD: SE/HLA/1010190)

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