Restricted Hans Heg Madison, Wisconsin

Jan 28, 2021
Hans Heg

Madison, Wisconsin

By Norman Dasinger, Jr​


“Of bronze, heroic size, [and] represents the warrior standing with bared head, looking gravely into the distance”, write the Wisconsin Magazine, December 1926. The publication was describing the Hans Heg monument that was dedicated on the Wisconsin State House grounds October 17, 1926.

Colonel Heg was the highest ranking Scandinavian immigrant killed in the Civil War. He was mortally wounded at the battle of Chickamauga, Georgia, September 19, 1863 leading a Federal infantry brigade.

In 1926, Paul Fjelde completed three cast bronze statues of Heg. One stands in Leir, Norway, Heg’s hometown. One was placed in the city where Heg lived in Wisconsin and where he also recruited the 15th​ Wisconsin Infantry and the third at the capitol in Madison.

In February 1920, Norwegian-Americans began a drive to raise $25,000 for a statue honoring Heg. Originally planned for a cemetery in Racine, permission was instead granted for it to be placed at the state capitol. Sculptor Fjelde was a native of Minneapolis but his father had been a sculptor in Norway. His father’s brother, Dr Herman O. Fjelde was the chairman of the committee for the Lincoln Monument. Paul was an instructor of sculpture at the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts. His works also include the bronze portrait of Orville Wright in the Hall of Fame for Great Americans.

On the day of dedication, over one thousand spectators listened as Mayor Albert Schmedeman spoke along with Norwegian Consul General Olaf Bernts. It is interesting to note that Schmedeman had once been the US Minister to Norway and accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. Also included in the ceremony was Heg’s daughter. She assisted in the unveiling along with four veterans of the 15th​ Wisconsin Infantry and a few members of the Norwegian cabinet and national legislature.

On June 23, 2020, a group of protesters used a towing vehicle to pull the statue down. It was beheaded and thrown into Lake Monona.

Sep 17, 2011
Too bad it even got to the point that it did.

But, as the linked news article said, the statues will be back up and that is a positive thing.
Yes little reason to ever destroy ones own town. We will see I guess as the trials end this summer.....hopefully people will respect justice regardless of what the juries find that is.