Ignorance is Dangerous. Steil Ensures we Never Forget Colonel Hans Christian Heg’s Service to End Slavery and Fight Injustice, Works to Name Muskego Post Office After Heg

June 25, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C—Today, Bryan Steil introduced a bill to name the post office in Muskego the “Colonel Hans Christian Heg Post Office”.

“Tuesday night after attacking a Wisconsin state senator and tossing a Molotov cocktail into a government building, criminals destroyed the statue of Colonel Hans Christian Heg. Colonel Heg was an immigrant, an abolitionist, and a military leader who gave his life fighting to end slavery. Ignorance is dangerous. Adding his name to his childhood home’s post office will help inform ignorant citizens of what he fought for and his work to fight injustice,” said Steil.

On Background:

Col. Heg was a Norwegian immigrant who spent his childhood in Muskego, Wisconsin. The Heg family immigrated to America and settled on the shores of Lake Muskego. Heg led his community and state as an anti-slavery activist. A staunch abolitionist throughout his entire life, Heg also led an anti-slave catching militia in effort to protect escaped slaves.

In 1861, Heg was appointed Colonel of the 15th Wisconsin Infantry, a Scandinavian regiment. The 15th was recruited to fight for the Union against the Confederacy. The regiment shipped out from Camp Randall to the South in 1862. Heg and the 15th quickly gained attention for their bravery on the battlefield.

On September 19, 1863, Col. Heg was mortally wounded in Chickamauga, Georgia leading a charge against the Confederate lines. He succumbed to his injuries and died the next day.  After his death, the Wisconsin State Journal reported that “The State has sent no braver soldier, and no truer patriot to aid in this mighty struggle for national unity, than Hans Christian Heg.” Col. Heg was the highest-ranked Wisconsin officer killed in combat during the Civil War.