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AUG LIB logo Hans Westerlund Papers (Augustana College)

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presumed photograph of Hans Westerlund



Hans Westerlund was born 4 March 1842 in Hassela, Nordanstig Municipality, Gävleborg County, Sweden. His parents were Erick Abram Westerlund (1801-1869) and Elisabeth Jonsdotter Westerlund (1806-1850). Hans was a devout Evangelical Lutheran and a Civil War soldier who served in Company C of the 43rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment (also known as the "Koerner Regiment") for the United States Army. During his time as a soldier, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant for bravery. He survived the war and lived on a farm near Woodhull, Illinois, with his wife, Mary Edmund Westerlund, and their three daughters until his death on 27 January 1874, at 31 years old, from an illness contracted in the army.

 

The Hans Westerlund papers contain correspondence, genealogical information, and photographs. Westerlund's correspondence documents the 43rd Infantry's movement from Benton Barracks, Missouri, through Pittsburg Landing, Jackson, and Bolivar, Tennessee, and Little Rock, Arkansas. The vast majority of the letters are addressed to Westerlund’s brother, Peter Westerlund. Letters are written in Swedish, but some letters have third-party English annotations describing their content or photocopies of typed or handwritten English translations. Topics include battles and developments in the Civil War, bad food at camp, money, marriage, Westerlund's objections to slavery, and his devotion to God.

 

In addition to the correspondence, the collection contains a copy of the Genealogy of the Descendants of Hans Andreus Westerlund, 1960, and an undated newspaper clipping containing Peter Westerlund's obituary. Also included are two unidentified tintypes, circa 1860s, with images of a man in a United States Army uniform (presumably Westerlund) and a teenage boy posing beside a chair (possibly Westerlund or one of his brothers).

Questions about this collection? Contact: specialcollections@augustana.edu or 1-309-794-7643

 
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