Hans Christian Heg was not a shrinking violet. His family immigrated to Wisconsin from Norway in 1840. After a brief stint prospecting for gold near Sacramento, he returned to Wisconsin, married, and immersed himself in politics. He joined the local militia unit as an officer…this attests to the local prominence he’d achieved as state militias were largely social organizations and your rank depended upon your social standing…and, as the slavery question heated up, he became an ardent “Free Soiler” opposing the expansion of slavery beyond where it currently existed. He formed a secret society that acted as bodyguards for Republican (read that anti-slavery) politicians and combatted slave catchers called the Wide Awakes. When the Civil War broke out, he was commissioned by the Governor to raise the 15th Wisconsin Volunteer Regiment. Because of his prominence in the Scandinavian community, he raised a regiment that was almost entirely Norwegian.
At a time when regimental, and general officer, leadership among volunteer units was little short of abysmal, Weg distinguished himself in several hard-fought actions rising to the command of a brigade. It was as a brigade commander that he was killed at the Battle of Chickamauga at Viniard Farm (FWIW, I lost an ancestor at Chickamauga who served in the 54th Virginia). His exemplary life and death resulted in a statue in his honor being raised on the grounds of the Wisconsin state capitol where it stood until last night:
Fury exploded outside the Wisconsin State Capitol on Tuesday night as protesters smashed windows at the statehouse, attacked a state senator, and tore down two iconic statues — including one of an abolitionist who died trying to end slavery during the Civil War.
The unrest began earlier Tuesday following the arrest of a Black man who was arrested after bringing a megaphone and a baseball bat into a Capitol square restaurant. It followed weeks of mostly peaceful protests of the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by a white police officer
Protesters have also torn down the Hans Christian Heg statue outside the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/lTwBOUXQST
— Lance Veeser (@lanceveeser) June 24, 2020
— Michelle Alfini (@MichelleAlf) June 24, 2020
Who was this martyr to police brutality:
Meet the reason Madison rioters decked a state senator, tore down at least 2 statues (Forward & Heg) & tossed molotov cocktails. Not only does he have a felony record in WI, he shot a guy in the neck in Minneapolis. ((https://t.co/LYaTuIaCDx) Hero stuff! https://t.co/4kEykojd5H pic.twitter.com/2T44vAzAi5
— Vicki McKenna (@VickiMcKenna) June 24, 2020
As I’ve pointed out, what we are seeing here is not a reaction to police brutality or social injustice, what we are experiencing is what Senator Tom Cotton has started calling the 1619 Riots. These are riots that are clearly part of an insurrection which has as its goal the overthrow of the Constitution and the erasure of all vestiges of our national past. (Read Tom Cotton Gives a Must-Watch Speech for the Ages on the Dangers of Mob Rule and Cancel Culture.)
By any standard, Heg is a man who should be held up as an example. He was an immigrant. His family was not wealthy. By the dint of his own labor, he made himself into a successful man and was a mainstay of his community. He was fully Norwegian and, as the Civil War demonstrated, fully American. He was an ardent anti-slavery activist who put his freedom and safety on the line at a time when assisting fugitive slaves was a federal offense. And yet, his statue is destroyed.
The evening was not without amusement:
During the melee late Tuesday, Democratic state Sen. Tim Carpenter was assaulted after taking a photo of protesters.
“I don’t know what happened … all I did was stop and take a picture … and the next thing I’m getting five-six punches, getting kicked in the head,” Carpenter told a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter following the assault.
I took this pic- it got me assaulted & beat up. Punched/kicked in the head, neck, ribs. Maybe concussion, socked in left eye is little blurry, sore neck & ribs. 8-10 people attacked me. Innocent people are going to get killed. Capitol locked- stuck in office.Stop violence nowPlz! pic.twitter.com/Zw2hdfYG66
— Tim Carpenter (@TimCarpenterMKE) June 24, 2020
While it is a good thing that Mr. Carpenter wasn’t seriously injured, it is also a good thing for the violence and anarchy that the Democrat party has consciously stoked over the past weeks to finally be visited upon them rather than innocent shopkeepers and bystanders.
Two or three weeks ago, I would have said that this street thuggery would burn itself out. Now I’m not so sure. It is more and more resembling a coal mine fire that has become self-propagating. I’m coming around more and more to the viewpoint that the only cure for this violent attempt to foment a revolution is an equal but opposite reaction.