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On the trail of the 1st Minnesota


Last week, Bill Semans, Director of No More Gallant a Deed, and I travelled to Rochester and Winona to speak to their Civil War Roundtables.  We had a terrific time.  Both groups were energetic and engaged.  They asked many good questions about the project both in terms of its subject matter and how we plan on telling this rich and dramatic story.

We spoke in Rochester on Wednesday night and Winona on Thursday.  Since it is a short trip between these two Southeastern Minnesota cities, we took our time and made a side trip to see the Pickwick Mill located in Pickwick, Minnesota which was named after Dickens’ Pickwick Papers.   The mill  ground grain for the Union Army. Later, we drove past the Bunnell House, a Civil War era home located in Homer, Minnesota.

Charles Goddard

Charles E. Goddard, May 14, 1845 - Dec 9, 1868.

Then, on a beautiful afternoon, we visited the Woodlawn Cemetery in Winona to seek out the graves of some members of Company K, especially that of Charlie Goddard.  Charlie enlisted at 15 and wrote wonderful letters home to his mother.  She said he could go off to war if he promised to write regularly.  This he did and he will be one of the personalities we follow through the entire story of the 1st Minnesota.

Stephen Taylor

Stephen Taylor.

The other photo included here is that of Stephen Taylor. He is reputed to be the only soldier from the American Revolution buried west of the Mississippi. The legend on his gravestone notes that he fought with Ethan Allan and the Green Mountain Boys in the battle for Fort Ticonderoga.  This claim is a contested one.  But it is a good story.

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Photographs and Artifacts

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The 1st Minnesota’s Return Home: Winona

August 27th, 2012

Recently I had occasion to visit La Crosse, Wisconsin.  An evening soiree on behalf of the Mississippi Valley Conservancy was held on sightseeing pontoon boat. More »

On the trail of the 1st Minnesota

May 17th, 2012

Last week, Bill Semans, Director of No More Gallant a Deed, and I travelled to Rochester and Winona to speak to their Civil War Roundtables. More »

The 1st Minnesota's First Battle: Bull Run

April 20th, 2012

It was a time before newsreels. It was a time before the 24-hour news cycle. There were no battlefield photos from previous wars to be seen. More »

The Men

Charles Goddard

Charlie Goddard was born in Pennsylvania May 14, 1845 to Catherine and Abner Goddard. He was the only child of nine that survived childhood.More »

Edward Bassett

Edward Bassett was just 19 when he was mustered into Company G of the 1st Minnesota on April 29, 1861 as a private. His family moved west, settling in Morristown, Minnesota in the south central part of the state.More »

Mathew Marvin

Mathew Marvin was born on September 21, 1838 in Connaston, New York. In 1859 at the age of 19, Matthew moved to Winona, Minnesota where he worked as a clerk for J. J. Randall & Co, a leather goods store. More »

Samuel Stebbins

Samuel was born in Brookline, Vermont on April 30, 1830. Upon reaching his majority, he travelled quite extensively and worked at a variety of occupations before purchasing a farm near Winona, Minnesota in the fall of 1856. More »

The Timeline

1861

Apr 12

Confederates open fire on Fort Sumter.

In Washington, Governor Alexander Ramsey pledges 1000 Minnesota troops to President Lincoln, the first troops pledged.

Apr 15

President Lincoln calls for 75,000 troops.

Apr 27

The ten companies of the 1st Minnesota report to Fort Snelling.

Jun 22

The 1st leaves for Washington D.C., arriving on June 26.

Jul 21

The 1st sees combat at the Battle of Bull Run. One of the last regiments to leave the battlefield, the 1st suffered the highest casualties of any Union regiment with 48 killed, 83 wounded, 23 wounded and missing, and 30 missing.

Oct 21

The 1st is lightly engaged at the Battle of Ball's Bluff.

More »