Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Steven Nash

Committee Members

Jennifer Adler, Stephen Fritz


While memory studies of the American Civil War flourishes, ethnic and immigrant perspectives remain obscured. This project attempts to uncover how Norwegian-Americans remembered the 6000 Norwegian immigrants who fought in the Union Army. It explores the processes behind commemoration of Colonel Hans Christian Heg and the 15th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment from 1914 to 1928. It reveals that Norwegian-Americans commemorated Colonel Heg on three different and connected levels. Nationally, Norwegian-Americans raised a statue of Heg in Wisconsin after the individual determination of Waldemar Ager to challenge nativism and Americanization. Transnationally, Ager cooperated with the organization Nordmands-Forbundet who facilitated the erection of a replica in Norway in their efforts to create an extraterritorial national community known as the “greater Norway.” Locally, citizens of Racine County, Wisconsin, mobilized to raise their own Heg monument. These events combined local, national, and transnational identities, and illuminate the multilayered complexity of ethnicity in early twentieth-century America.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the author.