United States Regiments & Batteries > Minnesota

The 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment lost 10 officers and 177 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 2 officers and 97 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War. The regiment is honored by several monuments at Gettysburg.

April 14 The first regiment tendered to the Federal government by any state.
April 29 Organized under first call at Fort Snelling, Minn., and mustered in for three months
May 10 Reorganized for three years service, to date from April 29
May 28 Companies B and G moved to Fort Ridgly, Minnesota
May 29 Company A moved to Fort Ripley
June 6 Company E moved to Fort Ripley
June 10 Companies C and D moved to Fort Abercrombie
June 21 Regiment reunited at Fort Snelling under orders for Washington, D. C.
June 22-26 Moved to Washington, D.C.
July 3 To Alexandria. Attached to Franklin’s Brigade, Heintzelman’s Division, McDowell’s Army of Northeast Virginia
July 16-21 Advance on Manassas, Va.
July 21
Battle of Bull Run

The 1st Minnesota was in the heaviest fighting of the battle around Henry House Hill and was one of the last Union regiments to leave the field. it lost 49 men killed, 107 wounded and 34 missing.

August Attached to Stone’s Brigade, Division of the Potomac
August 2-7 Moved to Seneca Mills, Md.
August 16 To near Edward’s Ferry, duty guarding Upper Potomac
October, 1861 Attached to Gorman’s Brigade, Stone’s (Sedgwick’s) Division, Army of the Potomac
October 11-23 Operations about Ball’s Bluff
October 21 Battle of Ball’s Bluff
October 21 Leesburg Road (2 Cos.)
October 22 Goose Creek and near Edward’s Ferry
February 25-
March 15
Advance toward Winchester, Va.; At Bolivar Heights
March Attached to 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac
March 22 Moved to Washington and Alexandria
March 22-April 1 thence to Hampton, Va.
April 5-May 4 Siege of Yorktown
May 7 West Point
May 9-23 Advance to the Chickahominy
May 27-28 Built Grape Vine Bridge
May 31-June 1 Battle of Fair Oaks
June 25-July 1 Seven days before Richmond
June 29 Peach Orchard, Allen’s Farm and Savage Station
June 30 White Oak swamp and Glendale
July 1 & August 5 Malvern Hill;
August 16 At Harrison’s Landing
August 16-28 Moved to Alexandria, then march to Centerville
August 30 Cover Pope’s retreat to Washington
September 1-2 Near Chantilly and Flint River
September 2 Vienna
September 6-22 Maryland Campaign
September 14 Battle of South Mountain
September 16-17
Battle of Antietam

The 1st Minnesota fought in Sedgwick’s attack into the West Woods, losing 1 officer and 15 enlisted men killed, 3 officers and 79 enlisted men wounded, and 24 enlisted men missing out of 435 men on the field.

From the brigade’s marker on the Antietam battlefield:

Gorman’s Brigade led the advance of Sedgwick’s Division in its assault upon the Confederate left. It passed through the East Woods, crossed the Cornfield and the open ground to the south, entered the West Woods and had reached this point, when its advance was checked by Jackson’s Command and the Artillery of Stuart’s Division posted on the high ground to the northwest. After a severe contest in which its ammunition was nearly exhausted, its left flank was turned by McLaws’ and Walker’s Divisions and the Brigade was forced to retire northward to the fields beyond D.R. Miller’s barn. The 34th New York was detached and occupied the woods immediately west of the Dunkard Church. This tablet marks the left center of the Brigade in its advance.

September 22 March to Harper’s Ferry, W. Va., and duty there
October 16-17 Reconnaissance to Charlestown
October 30-
November 17
March up Loudon Valley and to Falmouth, Va.
December 12-15
Battle of Fredericksburg
At Falmouth
April 27-May 6 Chancellorsville Campaign
April 29-May 2 Operations about Franklin’s Crossing
May 3
Battle of Maryes Heights (Second Fredericksburg)
May 3-4
Salem Heights
May 4 Banks’ Ford
June 12-July 24 Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign
June 25

Colonel Colville’s horse was killed by Stuart’s Horse Artillery in a skirmsh

July 1-3
Battle of Gettysburg

The regiment entered the field 420 strong, of whom 32 men (Company L) were serving as skirmishers and 56 men (Company C) were detached to the division during the famous charge. Fifty men were killed, 173 wounded and 1 missing.

Colonel William Colville led the men into action and was wounded during the charge on July 2nd. Captain Nathan Messick took over command only to be killed the next day during the repulse of Pickett’s Charge. He was followed in command by Captain Wilson B. Farrell, also killed at this time, and finally by Captain Henry C. Coates.

From the main monument at Gettysburg:

On the afternoon of July 2, 1863 Sickles Third Corps having advanced from this line to the Emmitsburg road eight companies of the First Minnesota regiment numbering 262 men were sent to this place to support a battery. Upon Sickles’ repulse as his men were passing here in confused retreat two Confederate brigades in pursuit were crossing the swale.To gain time to bring up the reserves and save this position General Hancock in person ordered the eight companies to charge the rapidly advancing enemy. The order was instantly repeated by Col. Wm. Colville and the charge instantly made down the slope at full speed through the concentrate fire of the two brigades breaking with the bayonet the enemy’s front line as it was crossing the small brook in the low ground. There the remnant of the eight companies nearly surrounded by the enemy held its entire force at bay for a considerable timeand till it retired on the approach of the reserve the charge successfully accomplished its object. It saved the position and probably the battlefield. The loss of the eight companies in the charge was 215 killed and wounded, more than 85 percent. 47 men were still in line and no missing. In self-sacrificing desperate valor this charge has no parallel in any war. The next day the regiment participated in repelling Pickett’s charge losing 17 more men killed and wounded.

From the smaller monument:

On July 3d, 1863 the survivors of this regiment aided here in repelling Picketts Charge and ran hence to the aid of Webb’s Brigade taking a conspicuous part in the counter-charge which successfully ended the conflict. Losing then17 additional killed and wounded and capturing a Confederate flag. There Captains Nathan S. Messick and Wilson B. Farrel successively commanding the regiment were killed. Total killed and wounded in the battle 232 out of 330 engaged.

Corporal Henry D. O’Brien of Company E was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on July 3rd when, “taking up the colors where they had fallen, he rushed ahead of his regiment, close to the muzzles of the enemy’s guns, and engaged in the desperate struggle in which the enemy was defeated, and though severely wounded, he held the colors until wounded a second time.”

Private Marshall Sherman of Company C was awarded the Medal for capturing the flag of the 28th Virginia Infantry on July 3rd.

July 5-24 Pursuit of Lee to Manassas Gap, Va.
July 31-August 15 At Kelly’s Ford, Va.
August 15-
September 16
Detached for duty in New York during draft disturbances
September 16 Rejoined Brigade near Culpeper
October 9-22 Bristoe Campaign
October 14
Bristoe Station

The 1st Minnesota mustered less than 100 men, serving as skirmishers in front of the railroad embankment that sheltered the main Union battle line. The regiment lost about 20 men casualties.

November 7-8 Advance to line of the Rappahannock
At Kelly’s Ford
November 26-
December 2
Mine Run Campaign
November 27 Robertson’s Tavern
November 28-30 Mine Run
Camp at Stevensburg, Va.
February 5 Ordered home for muster out
February Dept. of the Northwest
April Moved to Fort Snelling, Minn.
April 29 Mustered out; expiration of term. Veterans and Recruits organized into two Companies as 1st Minnesota Battalion Infantry. At Fort Snelling, Minn.
May 16-22 Moved to Washington, D.C.,then to White House
June 12 Joined 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army Potomac at Cold Harbor, Va.
July 12-15 Moved to Petersburg, Va.
June 16-18 Assaults on Petersburg
June 16 Siege of Petersburg begins
June 22-23 Jerusalem Plank Road
July 27-29 Demonstration north of the James
July 27-28 Deep Bottom
August 13-20 Demonstration north of the James
August 14-18 Strawberry Plains
August 25 Weldon Railroad
October 27-29 Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher’s Run
December 7-11 Raid on Weldon Railroad
February 5-7 Dabney’s Mills, Hatcher’s Run
March 25 Watkins’ House
March 28-April 9 Appomattox Campaign
March 29-31 Hatcher’s Run, Boydton Road
March 31 Crow’s House
April 2 Sutherland Station and fall of Petersburg
April 3-9 Pursuit of Lee
April 6 Sailor’s Creek
April 7 High Bridge and Farmville
April 9
Appomattox Court House

Surrender of Lee and his army

May 2-12 March to Washington, D.C.
May 23 Grand Review
June 6-9 Moved to Louisville and duty there
July 15 Mustered out