Hans Christian Heg was an immigrant from Norway. He was a fierce opponent of slavery and an early member of the anti-slavery Free Soil Party. He was a leader of the Wide Awakes, an anti-slavery militia dedicated to chasing down slave catchers (groups we’ve been told constantly were the progenitors of policing in America). When the Civil War started, Heg signed up to fight. He organized Wisconsin’s all-Scandinavian Fighting Fifteenth. “The officers of the regiment will be men who speak the Scandinavian languages. Thus an opportunity to enter the service is afforded those Scandinavians who do not yet speak English.”
Heg was revered by his troops for his willingness to lead the charge in many engagements rather than hang back like so many officers. He died at the battle of Chickamauga in Tennessee, along with half of the men he went into battle with.
And last night, a bunch of idiots in Wisconsin tore down his statue and decapitated it.