Private, US Army, he fought in the Indian Wars and participated in the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876, as a member of Gen. George A. Custer's 7th Cavalry.
Born in Jensen, Norway, he arrived in the US in 1870, at the age of 29, and enlisted into the 7th US Cavalry at Fort Rice, ND, on June 19, 1873, stating his previous occupation was blacksmith. He participated in the Yellowstone Expedition of 1873, the Black Hills Expedition of 1874, the Sioux Campaign of 1876 and the Nez Perce Campaign of 1877. Initially assigned to Company M, 7th Cavalry, during the Battle of the Little Big Horn, he was with Major Reno in the charge into the valley, and along with Lieutenant DeRudio, the two men hid in the timber near the river when their horses were shot out from under them, and later rejoined Reno's battalion at the hilltop where Reno's men had formed a defensive perimeter. Both men survived the battle. Discharged on June 19, 1878 at Fort Abraham Lincoln, ND upon expiration of service, he reenlisted on June 25, 1878 in Battery D, 2nd Artillery, at Fort McHenry, Maryland, where he later served as a guard for Charles J. Guiteau, who shot President James Garfield in July 1881. With blue eyes, sandy hair, a fair complexion, and 5 feet 11 inches tall, his fellow soldiers nicknamed him "Big Fritz." Upon his discharge on June 24, 1883, he resided on a farm near Hawthorne, Wisconsin, and on December 25, 1889, he married Anna Olson in Douglas County, WI. They had one son, Sigward Oliver Sivertsen, born September 16, 1890, in Duluth, MN. Anna died before him, and on March 31, 1919, he was transferred to the National Military Home at Wood, Wisconsin. The next year, he was transferred to the US Soldiers Home in Washington DC, where he died in 1925. (Bio by Kit and Morgan Benson)
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