Black Lives Matter Destroys Statue of Immigrant Who Died Fighting Slavery
Protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement vandalized and toppled a statue of Col. Hans Christian Heg, an immigrant from Norway who died fighting for the Union against slavery, on Tuesday night in Madison, Wisconsin.
Local ABC affiliate WKOW reported:
Protesters pulled down the Forward statue that normally stands outside the State Capitol and left it lying in the middle of the road.
The same group also tore down the Col. Hans Christian Heg statue a short time later. The group then went on to throw the statue into Lake Monona. Heg fought for the Union during the Civil War and was a stark opponent of slavery during that time.
Tweets of the destruction showed Heg’s pedestal vandalized with the words “BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL” scrawled across it.
The statue was decapitated and thrown into a nearby lake.
WKOW reported that the protesters also damaged a government building.
Heg was a Republican who served as the state prison commissioner, favoring vocational training for convicts.
The Wisconsin Historical Society describes Col. Heg as follows:
Heg migrated to the United States from Norway as a child in 1840 and spent his youth at Muskego, in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. As a young man he went to California in the Gold Rush and stayed from 1849-1851. He returned to Wisconsin in 1851 following the death of his parents in order to care for his younger siblings and manage the family farm.
In the fall of 1861, a new Scandinavian regiment was recruited and Heg accepted an appointment as its colonel. The 15th Wisconsin Infantry, made up largely of recent immigrants, went into training at Camp Randall in December and left for the South on March 2, 1862.
On December 30, 1862, at the battle of Stones River, Heg’s regiment lost more than 100 men. His horse was shot out from under him and his general called him “the bravest of the brave.” In February 1863 Heg was put in command of the entire brigade and pursued retreating Confederate troops through Tennessee, briefly into Alabama, and across the state line to Chickamauga, Georgia.
On the afternoon of September 19, 1863, Heg was charging forward at the front of his troops when he was shot in the abdomen. He managed to stay in the saddle for a short time, but loss of blood compelled him to leave the field and move to a hospital behind the lines where he died the next morning.
Democrats hope to win Wisconsin back in the 2020 presidential election.