Production Team

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The First Minnesota Films production team has years of experience producing documentary films right here in Minnesota, including the award winning American Hero series, which was eventually featured as part of HBO’s The Pacific.

Director

Bill Semans
Most recently Bill wrote and produced the play Exit Strategy to critical acclaim in both Minneapolis and Los Angeles.  He also co-produced, directed and wrote the feature film, Herman USA.  Bill co-produced the award-winning World War II documentary series, The American Hero.  He also produced Fighter Aces of World War II, the 1988 Military Video of the Year, as well as Ladies Sing the Blues, nominated in 1989 as Best Long Form Music Video of the Year.

Bill founded the Cricket Theater in Minneapolis and was its producing director for 13 years. He produced and staged nearly 100 productions.  Under his tenure the theater was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Regional Theater.

Producer

Jeff Hohman
Jeff was Co-Producer of the feature film, Herman USA, which was released theatrically and had a successful run on domestic television as well being distributed worldwide in more than 30 countries.  Jeff is also the Co-Producer of the World War II documentary series, The American Hero, recipient of eleven major national documentary film awards, including two Telly Awards as Best Documentary Film of the Year.

Prior to producing films, Jeff was a consultant to numerous video and publishing companies as well as being a literary agent and book packager. Previous to that, Jeff worked for B. Dalton Bookseller in numerous management capacities.   Recently, in addition to working on the Civil War project, he has been consultant to several publishers and writers as well developing additional film and book projects to be produced following completion of No More Gallant a Deed.

Board of Advisors

Our current list of advisors is as follows:

Richard Moe
Author of The Last Full Measure and recently retired President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. His detailed knowledge of the 1st and the men who served will inform our story throughout.

Joseph Fitzharris
Retired Emeritus Professor of History St. Thomas University who taught Civil War history as his specialty. He is currently at work on a book on the 3rd Minnesota. The recipient of numerous awards for his knowledge of military history and the author of many articles on the military aspects of the war, his knowledge of the tactics and methods will help inform our understanding of the combat portions of our story.

Paul Stone
Adjunct Professor University of Minnesota, Assistant Professor Humphrey Institute. His special focus is on American political and institutional history, behavior in American public life, and Minnesota political history. His knowledge will inform our understanding of the political dimensions of the Civil War in Minnesota. Professor Stone teaches Richard Moe’s book as part of his course work with a specific focus on the political and social impacts of the Civil War on the citizens of Minnesota during the War.

Andrea Foroughi
Professor of History, Union College, author of Go If You Think It Your Duty: A Minnesota Couple’s Civil War Letters. Her knowledge of Civil War letters and the value of epistemological story telling will be invaluable.

In addition to the team of scholars above, other advisors are:

Stephen Osman
A retired senior historian at the Minnesota Historical Society, as well as author, lecturer, and collector, he will bring his thirty years experience regarding the details of soldierly life to bear on our project, making sure that we provided an accurate and nuanced picture of what it meant to be a Civil War soldier.

Steve Keillor
Editor of the book, No More Gallant a Deed by James Wright. Steve is a professor of History at Bethel College. Steve’s intimate knowledge of the day to day life of the men of the 1st will also help inform our narrative.

Brian Leehan
Former Star Tribune reporter and author of Pale Horse at Plum Run, a detailed account of the Battle of Gettysburg and the role the 1st played. His knowledge of the particulars of the complex and confusing three days of battle at Gettysburg will be vital in ensuring our presentation is accurate.

Wayne Jorgenson
The collector of the largest private collection of 1st Minnesota artifacts with a special focus on photographs of the individual men in the Regiment. His knowledge of the individual stories of the soldiers of the 1st will be instrumental in helping us determine through whose eyes and stories we should tell this remarkable tale.

Former Vice-President Walter Mondale
Senior Fellow at the Humphrey Institute and partner at Dorsey Whitney law firm, is a special advisor to the project.

Thomas Heffelfinger
Former District U.S. Attorney General and great-great-grandson of Christopher Heffelfinger, an officer in the 1st, is also a special advisor to the project and a member of the recently appointed Governor’s Civil War Commemoration Task Force.

Donate

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

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 »