First Minnesota  Volunteer Infantry Regiment

First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment


The 1st Minnesota was the first state volunteer regiment formally tendered to the Federal government under Abraham Lincoln's call for 75,000 troops in 1861, being offered on April 14 for three months service, Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey happening to be in Washington at the time. It was organized at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, on April 29 and subsequently remustered for three years service on May 10.

First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment


    April 14

    The first Regiment tendered to the government by any state

    April 29, 1861

    Organized under first call at Fort Snelling, Minn., and mustered in for three months

    May 10, to date from April 29

    Reorganized for three years service

    May 28

    Companies B and G moved to Fort Ridgly, Minn

    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


    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


    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 and 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


    September 6-22

    Maryland Campaign

    September 14

    Battles of South Mountain

    September 16-17


    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, Va.

    At Falmouth


    April 27-May 6

    Chancellorsville Campaign

    April 29-May 2

    Operations about Franklin's Crossing

    May 3

    Battle of Maryes Heights, Fredericksburg

    May 3-4

    Salem Heights

    May 4

    Banks' Ford

    June 12-July 24

    Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign

    June 25


    Colonel Colville's horse is 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."

    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

    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


    Dept. of the Northwest

    April 29

    Moved to Fort Snelling, Minn., and duty there until

    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

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