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Visit the First Minnesota Films office

In our office is a forty foot long, eight foot high, white sheetrock wall on which the film is being storyboarded.

A month ago or so, we began bringing visitors in to see the wall, currently filled with the Battle of Gettysburg section. While we expected a reaction to the accumulated images, we did not expect the response from the array of grainy photocopies to be so emotional. Some have been moved to tears standing before the wall. This speaks to the fundamental power of the story of the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Regiment and why we are making this film.

The storyboard wall

The storyboard wall.

To build the storyboard, the film was divided into ten sections. Then, Bill Semans, the director, wrote a scratch narration for each section. Next, with the help of David Swirnoff, our Director of Research, Bill identified the images fitting the narration and pinned them in order, usually in columns of 10 or so, on the wall. These images were chosen from the thousands uncovered during the research phase.

Once a section was completed the images were taken down, photographed in order, and transferred to the editor’s computer in preparation for the next phase. Tom Wilbur, who edited several of the documentaries produced by Bill Semans and myself, will edit the film.

Our production office is located in the Casket Arts Building in NE Minneapolis which was built in 1888 and, up until fifteen years ago, was still in operation as a casket manufacturer. The building is now filled with artists of all types and pulses with energy.

To get to our quarters in the basement you walk down a flight of worn wooden plank steps they are troughed in the middle, through a stone arch doorway, and then down stone and brick lined hallways to LL4, home of First Minnesota Films. Our area is lovingly referred to as “the dungeon.”

Contact us to schedule a visit or to get more information →


Make a Financial Contribution

Our film is being funded from corporate sponsors and from individuals like you.

To make this film possible we need your help. Please consider making a financial contribution today. More »

Photographs and Artifacts

We are asking organizations and individuals to look over their collections for any information, photos, or artifacts related to the 1st Minnesota. More »

Latest News

25th Anniversary of Ken Burns’ ‘The Civil War’

Aug 8, 2015

To mark the 25th Anniversary of Ken Burns’ magnificent film The Civil War, PBS is rebroadcasting it over five nights.More »

Project update

May 10, 2015

Following the completion of the research and story development phase of the project, we have been quietly working behind the scenes to complete the fund raising needed to finish production of the film.More »

First Minnesota Films at Target Field

June 29, 2013

This Sunday, No More Gallant a Deed will be featured as part of a Minnesota National Guard ceremony preceding the Twins game at Target Field.More »

Trading ideas with other Civil War stakeholders

October 30th, 2012

On the evening of Thursday, October 11th, a gathering of Civil War stakeholders in Minnesota was held at the James J. Hill House in St. Paul.More »

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


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 »