Posts tagged ‘Minnesota’

From the Civil War Journal of Sgt. Sam Bloomer, 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Co. B, Dec. 24, 1861-Jan. 9, 1862

The following is an excerpt from the Civil War Diary of Sergeant Sam Bloomer, 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Company B, while the regiment was at Edward’s Ferry. The entries are from the period December 24, 1861 through January 9, 1862. The entries were transcribed by Jeffrey S. Williams from the originals that are located at the Minnesota Historical Society.

The grave of Color Sgt Sam Bloomer, 1st Minnesota Infantry, at Fairview Cemetery in Stillwater, Minn.

Tuesday Dec 24th       Last night was an awful cold disagreable and windy night for the guard. Today it was freezing most all day. Had no drill in the forenoon so I went over to the picture gallery and had one more pretty taken to send off. Had a Brigade drill but Gen Gorman was gone to Washington on some official business, so in his absence Col. Tompkins of the NY 2d drilled them very much against thire good will for he run them in double quick all the while. We had no dress parade on some account. We had or rather passed a dull Christmas Eve.

Christmas Wednesday Dec 25            This morning dawned very pleasant and the whole day it was a very dull Christmas to us. Last night our sutler had a lot of goods come with all kinds of marks on them. Some were marked knifes and forks, boot blacking, pepper & c. But our Col smell a rat and had the wagon taken up to the guard house, and this morning had the boxes opened up and lo and behold they contained a lot of choice Whiskey & Brandy which to his surprise were taken up to Poolesville to the hospital department to be used in that institution. During the day 2 or 3 kegs of beer were got and some of the boys began to feel rather light headed. Had no drills, nor even dress parade I suppose the reason was it was Christmas and it dont come but one in a year. I for one wish that we had Christmas every day on the drilling account, not because we had a such good time for it was the dulest Christmas that I ever spent in all my life and I hope I never shall again. Being a soldier is not like being at home on that day. The boys in my mess got a lot of Oysters and good fresh milk and made a good soup of them. But I had to look on and see them go in right down good ernest, as I am no Oyster eater. I could not stand it to look on so I pitched in and eate a lot of bread and Molassas for a substitute of the Oysters “perhaps that is a poor substitute.” Sergeant Binns has received his papers preparatory to his discharge to day and will probably leave for Stillwater in a few days.

Thursday Dec 26th       The weather this morning was pleasant but soon the clear blue skies were over cast and like if there was a storm brewing. Our company clerk has been to work on the payroles as the pay day will soon be around again. We had no drills today nor even dress parade on some account unbeknownst to me. Some of our men being at work a short distance from camp, where they could see the Virginia shore. And they state that they saw the Rebels in a very large column marching south. A large force first of infantry then a very long line of Batteries and cavalry & c. This evening quite a large number of battery men belonging to Bakers Brigade who were going to Washington after new guns for they lost the ones they had were lost at the battle of Balls Bluff.

Friday Dec 27th           The morning dawned pleasant but the wind blew very hard from the northwest and very cold and disagreeable. We had a very good company drill. We drilled as skirmishers the first one we had for some time and in the afternoon had quite a long Brigade drill but had no dress parade on account of the lateness of the houre. Gen Gorman has returned to camp from Washington whither he has been for a few days on some official business. This evening we received orders to be ready to go on picket tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock and were to stay until Tuesday when we would be mustered in again for two months, it making the 4th mustering or 8 months in the service.

Saturday Dec 28th       The [weather] still continues to be fine but cool. This according to orders received last night we got ready for to go on picket. After I was all ready to go Lieut Sinclair came to my tent and told me that the Capt had detailed me to stay in camp and help build his log house. It was very much against my good will to stay but stay I had to. At 9 AM the company started and we went to work taking down the Capt’s tent and dug a foundation. After dinner some of us went after a load of logs. When we were coming back we met a funeral going to the burying place with two soldiers that had departed this life while in thire Countries service. They were members of the Michigan 7th Vol. The regiment had no drills to day But had dress parade at the usual houre. Orders were read that the Monthly Mustering would take place on Tuesday Dec 31st at two o’clock and stating the different Mustering and inspecting officers of the different Brigades and regiments. Some other orders were read but were of no importance.

Sunday Dec 29th       The morning was fair but cool during the day the sun shone warm. About 10 AM a battery of 4 guns went down by here to relief that which was down at the ferry, the one that went down has just arrived from Washington. Shortly I with some others went down to the ferry to see the boys. There I saw two of the new guns that shoot 60 shots in a minute. Likewise we we saw a small boat that is being prepared for two guns and to be used for a gunboat on the Potomac. It is to be propelled by 14 oars. Our Capt took some more liquor yesterday some belonging to Col. Tompkins of the 2nd NY. The ditches are dug for the fort or stockade and some of the timbers are hauled. Had dress parade. Orders were read that all guard and pickets any where near a telegraph line should guard the wire and posts and see that nothing happend to it and report to headquarters if it should be broken any where. Last night an alarm was occassioned below the ferry where the Mich. 7th is doing picket duty. Some floating ice made a noise and they thought that a boat was coming across with rebels in it and some of the men up and fired at the supposed enemy “but did not kill any” which roust the whole line of pickets. But every thing quiet the rest of the night “No more rebels floating down the river.”

Monday Dec 30          The morning dawned fair. I worked all day on the Capt’s house. The companies had a drill in the forenoon But no regimental drill. At dress parade orders were read to the affect that every man should be ready for inspection or a general muster tomorrow at 9 o’clock AM and Lieut Hoyt was releast from the Quartermaster department and Adjutant Leach was to take his place. I received one letter from Stillwater this Eve. The Michigan 7th buried 2 more of thire soldiers today. The measles are raging to a considerable extent in thire regiment.

Tuesday Dec 31 the last of 1861        The morning was cold but fair it being mustering day there was cleaning of Brass, Blackening of boots, scouring of guns & c. About 9 o’clock Co E was inspected and immediately started off to releif our company from picket. About 10 AM the whole Brigade marched in review then our regt came to camp, stacked arms on the parade ground and went to thire quarters. Our company came to camp about 12 and were soon ready for inspection. About 2 we were marched on the parade ground, answered to our names and had our arms and knapsacks inspected. Had no dress parade. A flag of truce went across the ferry today at 1 PM with communications from Gen Stone to Gen Hill at Leesburg. Last night two Negroes came across from Virginia in a boat and were taken up to Gen Stone by the 7th Michigan.

Wednesday January 1st 1862              Last night at 12 o’clock all the bands in this vicinity commenced to play. They “4 in number” made considerable noise and kept it up untell daybreak. I finished a letter in the morning then I was detailed as Corpl of the guard. About 10 AM the Balloon was again sun high above the high tree tops. It was let up in the same place that it went up before it remained up about an hour during the day we had considerable fun arresting drunken men. Tied up three to a post set by the guard house for that purpose and bucket gaged one besides quite a number of others were disposed of in the guard house. At dress parade orders were read or rather the transfer of A Davis from Co I to our Co B. The weather was very fine and warm untell about 10 o’clock at night the wind got in a Northwest and blew a perfect gale and cold enough to freeze a person.

Thursday Jan 2d, 1862                        The weather this [morning] was very cold and windy and continued to be so all day, I wrote one letter to Eph McCanifie The companies had very short drills during the day on account of the cold wind. Had dress parade an order was read prohibiting all officers from detailling soldiers to act as thire servands or do any kind menial service for them “a good order that was I think” one other order was read that all enlisted men that was found cutting up any ungentlemanly acts with any of the neighbours or inhabitands would be promptly arrested by the nearest guard and would be punished accordingly by order of Gen Stone. About 6 o’clock PM Charles Scheffer from Stillwater arrived here. We were all very glad to see him, he came to arange the soldiers alotments.

Jan 3d 1862                                         This morning was I think as cold if not the coldest of the season. The company had a short drill this fornoon and in the afternoon we had a long Brigade drill. Gen Gormans lady and Secretary Camerons sister in law and one other lady were present to see us perform likewise Mr. Scheffer. Had no parade on account of the late houre. This evening a lot of mittens came from Stillwater for some of the boys. They were sent by the Ladies arniver social circle. They intirely forgot this child…just as well I suppose. This evening about 8 o’clock it commenced to snow.

Saturday Jan 4th 1862                         This has been rather a wintery day in morning. It was snowing but stoped about 9 o’clock AM. The air was very cold. We then went up and allotted some of our pay some allotted $5 and some 10 per month, it varying from 5 to 100. The Capt allotted 30 and the both Lieuts 25 a piece. I allotted 7 ½ or 15 at a payment. Today was the day set for the exchange of prisoners from Leesburg some 3 or 400 in Number but I have not learnd whether the exchange took place or not. It appears that the rebels cant feed our prisoners there for wish to exchange them for those that our men took at Balls Bluff some 30 in number. Had dress parade but no orders were read of any importance. Mr. Scheffer spent part of this with us in our tent.

Jan 5                Co. inspection very early for Scheffer’s benefit. Dress parade. Orders by Gen. Stone to private soldiers inciting insubordination among the negroes.

Jan 6                No drill. Co. B allotted about $500 being more than any other Co. in regt.

Jan 7                Mr. Scheffer left for Kentucky. Capt. Downie goes to Washington with him. Batt. drill a.m. & Co. drill p.m. Dress parade. 3 prisoners returned from Leesburg. They had been wounded at Ball’s Bluff & 2 belonged to 15th Mass & 1 to California Regt.

Jan 8                Potomac frozen over. Last night a steam tug and 3 row boats – capacity 150 men each – arrived at Edwards Ferry from Washington in the canal. Long co. drill a.m. Brigade drill countermanded & Co. drill instead p.m. Dress parade.

Jan 9                Rain last night. Muddy. Police duty a.m.

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Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force Unveils Logo Contest and More

JOINT-NEWS RELEASE:

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie
Phone: (651) 201-1332
Email: secretary.state@state.mn

State Rep. Dean Urdahl
Phone: (651) 296-4344
Email: rep.dean.urdahl@house.mn

Civil War Commemoration Task Force Unveils Logo Contest and More

ST. PAUL – Nov. 22, 2011 – The Civil War Commemoration Task Force invites Minnesotans to participate in a logo contest and develop an icon to be used in commemorating the war’s 150th anniversary. Logo designs must depict both Minnesota and the Civil War. The deadline for submission is 5 p.m., Dec. 30. A task force subcommittee will review the submitted logos and announce a winner on Jan. 10.

“It will be interesting to see how citizens combine visual elements of Minnesota and the Civil War,” said Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, task force co-chair. “I anticipate people will find creative ways to make that connection and I look forward to reviewing the submissions.”

Documents must measure 8.5 inches by 11 inches and be smaller than 10 megabytes in size. The contest is open to all ages.  Logo contest entries must be submitted electronically in a PDF format and emailed to civilwartaskforcelogo@mnhs.org.  For further information call (651) 259-3130 for more information.

The task force has also planned other events that share Minnesota’s connection with the Civil War such as:

–  designing a website (address to be determined);
–  preparing to issue “This Week in the Civil War” press releases;
–  planning tours of Dakota War sites for next summer;
–  making links available to schools for Civil War curriculum, as well as other educational opportunities;
–  encouraging performances of Civil War-era music.

“It is my hope that the many events planned by the task force and others commemorating the sacrifices made by Minnesotans to defend the Constitution and preserve the Union will motivate our generation to greater civil engagement,” said Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, task force co-chair.

The task force consists of six state officials and up to nine at-large citizens, serving through 2015.

Contest Rules and Logo Examples

Editors note:
Ritchie and Urdahl are co-chairs of the Civil War Commemoration Task Force, which is in the process of developing plans to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the historic war. A public logo contest is underway now and a number of other events will follow during the next few years.

The Civil War was Urdahl’s specialty during the 35 years he taught American history at New London-Spicer. His uniform is a replica of those worn by enlisted Civil War soldiers. The cap Urdahl displays bears the insignia of Minnesota’s Company B infantry regiment based at Fort Ridgley in south-central Minnesota.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery in the Atlanta Campaign May-Sept. 1864

Much has been written about the First Minnesota Infantry and its well-deserved place in Civil War history, but the experience of that famous unit was not typical. The great majority of Minnesota soldiers served in the Western theatre of the war taking part in battles from Mill Springs, Kentucky, to Sherman’s March through Georgia and the Carolinas.

Surviving members of the 1st Minnesota Light Artillery years after the war. (Photo courtesy of MN Historical Society - http://www.mnhs.org)

One of the best examples of Minnesota units serving in the West was the 1st Minnesota Light Artillery. Formed in the fall of 1861, the battery saw its first action at the bloody battle of Shiloh, where they played an important part in the defense of the “Hornets’ Nest”. They saw more hard fighting at Corinth, Mississippi, and as part of the Army of the Tennessee they endured the long campaign to capture Vicksburg. Later the battery joined General Sherman’s forces in the Atlanta Campaign and his famous “March to the Sea.” The Minnesotans continued with Sherman’s forces through the Carolinas to the final battle of the war at Bentonville, North Carolina. They also participated in the Grand Review of the major Union armies in Washington, D.C., following the war’s end. [Text courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society]

Report of First Lieutenant Henry S. Hurter, First Minnesota Battery

HEADQUARTERS FIRST MINNESOTA BATTERY

IN THE FIELD, GEORGIA, Nov. 11, 1864

 OSCAR MALMROS,

Adjutant General of the State of Minnesota

GENERAL:  In accordance with your request of September 24, 1864, I herewith send to you a morning report of this battery from the 1st day of November 1864, also a report of the casualties, etc., during the year, and within a short history of the company.

On the 1st of November, 1863, the battery laid in camp one mile south of Vicksburg; Captain Clayton, then commanding, received orders to go to Minnesota on recruiting service, and started on the 9th, the command then coming in my hands. The months of November and December were, whenever the weather allowed, improved in drilling the battery, also January and part of February, in which latter month, on the 11th, Captain Calayton returned with 73 recruits; on the 24th of February 5 veterans of the battery, in charge of Lieutenant Hurter, left for Minnesota. On the 5th of March captain Clayton exchanged the old guns, two 12-pound howitzers, and two 6-pound rifled guns, caliber 3.67, for four new rifled 3-inch Rodman’s guns. On the 25th the battery went out to black river, twelve miles from Vicksburg, with the First Division of the Seventeenth Army Corps, under Brig. Gen. E.S. Dennis. On the 4th of April we were transferred to the Third Division, under brigadier General Legett, and marched back to Vicksburg, were put on board the transport Z.C. Swan, left at dusk and proceeded up river and landed at Cairo, Ill. On the 17th disembarked and came into camp; there the veterans joined the battery again on the 21st. On the 27th embarked on transport Colossus, and moved up the Tennessee river, landed at Clifton, Tenn. On the 1st of May landed there, and after camping four days marched with the so-called Tennessee River Expedition, under Brigadier General Gresham, via Pulaski, Tenn., to Athens, Ala., camped there eight days and left on the 19th for Huntsville, Ala., arriving there on the 20th. On the 22d Captain Clayton left on leave of absence for Minnesota.

At the reorganization of the Seventeenth Army Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. F.P. Blair, the battery was attached to the Fourth Division, Brigadier General Crocker commanding. The corps left Huntsville for Decatur, Tenn., on the 25th of May, and from there marched via Summerville, Warrenton and Hendricksville, Tenn., and Cedar Bluff to Rome, Ga., 5th of June; from there to Kingston, Cartersville, Allatoona and Acworth, Ga., where we arrived on the 8th of June, joining there Sherman’s army, and especially the Army of the Tennessee, under the gallant McPherson, consisting then of three army corps; the Fifteenth, under Major General Logan, Sixteenth, under Major General Dodge, and the Seventeenth under Blair. On the 12th of June our guns opened for the first time on the enemy, who had works north of the Kenesaw Mountains, on the top of which we could observe large crowds of people looking at the doings of the two armies. More or less firing until the 20th, when the rebels evacuated their lines, and the army advanced about two miles and took position on the foot of the Kenesaw Mountain. Heavy fighting was done there, but the enemy’s position being very strong, Sherman moved the Army of the Tennessee, then forming the left wing, on the night of the 2d of July, in rear of our lines of the other troops on the extreme right, thus forcing the enemy to give up his position on the mountain and in Marietta, in order to oppose our crossing the Chattahoochee river. On the 4th of July the right section with two regiments of infantry, Fifteenth and Sixteenth regiments of Iowa Volunteers, advanced towards Nickajack creek, but soon found the enemy in force; the whole corps was engaged before night, and on the morning of the 5th, after shelling the rebel works for about half an hour, the infantry stormed and took them, pushing the rebels slowly back in their main works on the river. The battery was in position on a high hill, in full view, about two miles from the rebel works, and although for some time fired on very lively, had nobody hurt. On the 11th the rebels evacuated during the night and fell back on the opposite shore. On the 16th the Army of the Tennessee made another flank movement to the extreme left again, passing through Marietta, Rosswell, crossing the Chattahoochee river near that place, and after passing Decatur turned westward, meeting the enemy about two miles from Atlanta on the 20th. The battery took position and opened with good effect, but so did the rebels, killing five of our horses, their shells falling thick around us, one shell striking under the trail of one of our guns and setting the piece straight on its muzzle. Fired some on the 21st. Changed position twice that day, and occupied that night and part of the 22d a fort in rear of the Third Division, Seventeenth Army Corps, near the place where Major General McPherson fell. The bloody battle of the 22d was fought under our eyes, we not being able to fire one round, as our trains were moving between us and our lines, until in the evening, when we silenced a rebel battery, who opened a flank fire on the Sixteenth Army Corps. On the 26th we made another flank move to the right again; arrived on the morning of the 28th near Ezra Church, when about noon the rebels made an assault on the Fifteenth Corps, but were badly repulsed, leaving the front literally covered with dead and wounded. The left section had taken position and fired a few rounds, but could not do much, the position being too much exposed. On the 30th July, when we had just moved into park, a 64-pound shell from the rebels struck the right caisson, exploded the powder in two limber chests and some of the shells, but did not harm a man with one exception, although we were at close intervals, and men promiscuously among the carriages. On the 2d of August the centre and left sections, and on the 6th the right section, moved into positions fixed for them in the lines; we were then about two miles from Atlanta, but fired our shells with ease into town. More or less firing was done, according to the enemy’s annoyance, we advancing our works ever few days. On the 14th Lieutenant Koethe was killed inside of our works by a stray rebel bullet passing through his heart, killing him instantly. On the 26th we moved from our position and with the army to the right, striking the Montgomery railroad on the 28th, destroying it effectually, and then moving towards the Macon railroad, meeting the enemy on the 31st near Jonesboro, and driving him steadily, following to near Lovejoy Station, when we returned to Eastpoint, going into camp there to rest, refit and recruit up. We laid there from the 10th of September to the 3rd of October, when marching order came suddenly; as our horses were not all in condition for a long, tedious march, only two sections turned out, the centre section remaining in charge of Second Lieut. John D. Ross at Atlanta, Ga. The other two sections were under command of First Lieut. H. hurter, Captain Clayton being chief of artillery, Fourth Division, Seventeenth Army Corps. We left camp at 6 o’clock on the 4th of October, marching over very bad roads till night, and next morning to a place three miles southwest from Marietta. From there we went through Acworth and Allatoona, where a few days before the rebels were nobly repulsed by a small garrison, of which the Fourth Minnesota Regiment of Infantry formed a part – Cartersville, Kingston, Adairsville, Calhoun, Resaca, through Snake Gap, to near Villanow, Ga., where we remained two days, and from where we sent all surplus baggage, etc., to Chattanooga, Tenn., leaving but one team with the battery. Marched on the 18th from here to Summerville, Alpine, Ga., to Gaylesville, Ala., where we camped from the 21st to the 29th. During this time the artillery of the Seventeenth Army Corps was organized into an independent brigade under Major Powell, Second Regiment Illinois Light Artillery, Captain Clayton being assistant chief of artillery. Out of ten batteries belonging to the corps, only three were selected to remain with the army, via.: the Fifteenth Ohio Battery, First Lieutenant Burdick commanding; Company C, First Michigan Light Artillery, First Lieutenant Shier commanding, and First Minnesota, Lieutenant Hurter commanding. All the others were sent back to Nashville, Tenn., into the reserve artillery pack. Left camp on the 29th at 6 o’clock A.M., marched through Cedar Bluff, and arrived on the 30th near Cave Spring, Ga., where we remained in camp on the 31st in order to have the troops mustered for pay.

This, general, is a short sketch of the military history of this battery. Any particulars you wish to add, you will be enabled to get from our non-veterans, who will soon be discharged and return to the state.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. HURTER

Senior First Lieut., Comdg. Battery

1st Minnesota Light Artillery flag

EXTRACT FROM MONTHLY REPORT OF CAPT. WILLIAM Z. CLAYTON, FIRST MINNESOTA BATTERY, DATED IN THE FIELD, GEORGIA, JULY 31, 1864

            On the 2d day of July the battery moved from its former position at the foot of Kenesaw Mountain to the right. On the 4th it was ordered, section at a time, to the front and went forward with the skirmishers. During the day it fired about 80 rounds of ammunition; during the night constructed a work and on the morning of the 6th went into it. On the 8th the enemy opened from a post in front of us, with 18 pieces of artillery. We, with other batteries of our division, returned the fire. We fired 123 rounds with good effect. On the 16th moved to the left and crossed the Chattahoochee river at Roswell; went into position on the 20th and fired 130 rounds. While in this position we had 1 private and 4 public horses killed with one shell from the enemy’s gun. On the 26th moved to the right. On the 27th the battery was engaged while the enemy was stubbornly endeavoring to turn the extreme right flank of our army, and fired 22 rounds from one section. On the 30th the battery was relieved and moved into park at 5 o’clock P.M. At 6 P.M. we had 1 caisson blown up by the explosion of a 64-pound shell thrown from the enemy’s gun.

—————–

The 3-inch Ordnance Rifle, like the one seen here, was a staple of the Battery from March 5, 1864 through the end of the war.

 HEADQUARTERS FIRST MINNESOTA BATTERY,

BEFORE ATLANTA, GA., Aug. 18, 1864

 OSCAR MALMROS,

Adjutant General Minnesota,

SIR:  I have to report the death of First Lieut. William C.F. Koethe of the First Minnesota Battery, who was killed on the 15th of August, while temporarily in command of four pieces of this battery, which were in position to operate against the city of Atlanta.

The enemy had a complete enfilading fire upon the position which Lieutenant Koethe occupied, and a rebel sharpshooter shot a ball through his left arm, which passed through his heart and came out on his right side. He died without a struggle.

Lieutenant Koethe was from Germany, where his father still resides. He entered the battery, at its original organization, as a private; served as such until the 1st of September, 1863, when he was promoted to second lieutenant for his noble worth in the service of his adopted country. He was again promoted to junior first lieutenant, July 19, 1864. He rendered noble service on the 20th, 21, 22d and 28th of July, in command of his section of the battery, during the fearful struggle in front of Atlanta.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM Z. CLAYTON,

Captain, First Minnesota Battery

—————–

EXTRACT FROM MONTHLY REPORT OF FIRST MINNESOTA BATTERY, DATED AUG. 31, 1864.

            On the 1st of August the battery laid in park near Ezra Church, Ga., in rear of our lines. Centre and left section moved into position on the 2d and the right on the 6th; they fired more or less every day until the 25th, when the whole army of the Tennessee moved to the right, striking the Montgomery & Atlanta railroad on the 28th. After destroying the same effectually we moved on towards Jonesboro, on the Macon road; we came into position on the 31st, but did not fire any that day.

—————–

HEADQUARTERS, FIRST MINNESOTA BATTERY,

NEAR ATLANTA, GA., Sept. 15, 1864.

OSCAR MALMROS,

Adjutant General Minnesota,

GENERAL:    Inclosed please find the return of this company for the month of August, 1864, it having been utterly impossible to forward the same at an earlier period.

The battery is now in camp, resting from the fatigues and troubles of the late campaign, but preparing vigorously for a fall and (who knows), if necessary, winter campaign. May only the North make one more effort, send forth the scores of young men lounging around in the great cities, wasting their money and their health, and fill up our decimated ranks once more, I am sure that the next summer would not see anything more of this rebellion.

But, alas! How many homes will be desolate, how many hearts of loving wives, endearing children will wait in vain for their returning husbands and fathers! Many a place will be vacant, that before the war was blooming in health, beauty and love, its occupant lying silent and cold in strange soil! We too have to lament the death of two of our men, two of our best soldiers, who have died, not on the battle-field, but victims to disease and the treatment that our soldiers receive from those so-called surgeons in the hospitals. William Vincens, sergeant, and Gustavus Andre, private, both from New Ulm, died, the latter on the 4th inst., at Vining’s Station, Ga., the former at Atlanta on the 7th inst. Their friends will be much surprised at the news, as the time of the enlistment of the two was almost expired.

Tendering you my best respects, I am, yours very respectfully,

H. HURTER,

First Lieutenant, Commanding Battery

—————–

EXTRACT FROM THE MONTHLY REPORT OF FIRST LIEUTENANT H. HURTER, FIRST MINNESOTA BATTERY, DATED NEAR ATLANTA, GA., SEPT. 30, 1864.

            The battery marched on the 2d instant from the position it held on the 1st near Jonesboro, Ga., to the right, and when near Lovejoy’s Station, came in sight of the rebels, firing about thirty shots at them. On the 5th instant it left this position again, marching back to Jonesboro and Eastpoint and reaching the present camp grounds on the evening of the 9th, whence we tried to fix ourselves as comfortably as possible.

On the 4th instant Private William Winges was wounded in camp by a rebel rifle ball passing through his left cheek.

—————–

EXTRACT FROM REPORT OF LIEUT. SAMUEL EDGE, SIXTEENTH OHIO INFANTRY, ACTING SIGNAL OFFICER, DATED HEADQUARTERS SIGNAL DETACHMENT, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS, EAST POINT, GA., SEPT. 12, 1864

 * * * June 14, moved to the front of Kenesaw Mountain, and established two stations of observation. Lieutenants Edge, Worley, and Allen occupying one, and Lieutenants  Weirick and Fish the other, received several contraband messages of considerable importance, which were transmitted with promptness to Major Generals McPherson and Logan. June 15, occupied the same stations; received several contraband messages, all of which were transmitted to the generals. Lieutenant Weirick directed the firing of the First Minnesota Battery, Captain Clayton, by the aid of his glass, which resulted in blowing up a caisson and knocking off one wheel of a gun. * * *

 —————–

 EXTRACT FROM REPORT OF COL. WILLIAM HALL, ELEVENTH IOWA INFANTRY, COMMANDING THIRD BRIGADE, OF OPERATIONS JUNE 27 AND JULY 5 AND 22, DATED HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, FOURTH DIVISION, SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS, IN THE FIELD, GEORGIA, JUNE 28, 1864.

 * * * My line of battle extended from the left of the First Brigade and behind a line of rifle-pits thrown up by me on the crest of the hill on the 24th instant. My regiments were posted in the following order: The Fifteenth Iowa Volunteers on the right in support of the First Minnesota Battery, and having on its left the Tenth Ohio Battery. * * *

 —————–

EXTRACT FROM REPORT OF BRIG. GEN. WILLIAM W. BELKNAP, COMMANDING THIRD BRIGADE, DATED HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, FOURTH DIVISION, SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS, NEAR ATLANTA, GA., SEPT. 11, 1864.

 * * * September 9, moved at 9 A.M. and reached present position at 12 M., where the command is in line with the Fifteenth, Thirteenth, and Sixteenth Iowa on the left of the First Minnesota Battery, the Eleventh Iowa being in reserve. * * *

 —————–

[Source: Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, Vol. II, pp. 517-522]

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Could ‘chain of lakes’ be Isles, Harriet – Humphrey?

A Civil War history buff wants Lake Calhoun’s name changed because John C. Calhoun was passionately pro-slavery. The lake’s name has been debated before, but changing it is no small matter.

John Winters, it seems, can’t get enough of Civil War history. Now, the Minneapolis retiree hopes that knowledge helps bring change to the city’s biggest lake.

He is asking that the Park Board rename Lake Calhoun to Lake Humphrey.

The request would swap the lake’s longstanding dedication to John C. Calhoun, history’s most passionate pro-slavery orator — and a South Carolinian, no less — with a nod to Hubert H. Humphrey, the homegrown civil rights champion.

Winters, a retired computer programmer who lives near Lake Harriet, is not the first to suggest dropping Calhoun’s name. A 1993 proposal seeking to restore the lake’s original Indian name went nowhere.

His request to the board Wednesday came under a 1999 policy that allows nominations to name or rename a park or facility so long as there’s no “political or frivolous motivation.”

Dawn Sommers, a Park Board spokeswoman, said that consideration by the board “is not automatic.” An assistant superintendent will review the request and recommend how to proceed, she said. If the board decides to consider the change, it would conduct two hearings, and would be prohibited from acting for at least two years.

That, she said, “shows it is a serious process.”

Winters, 65, has known of Calhoun’s slavery stance since grade school, he said, and can recite passages from his speeches by memory. He said Friday that he decided to push for the Lake Calhoun name change after a recent disagreement with his sister about the root cause of the Civil War.

Humphrey, he said, deserves recognition in the city where he served as mayor for spurring the Democratic Party in 1948 to add a civil rights plank to its platform.

In addition, he said, Humphrey has gotten the “short end” of it lately, with the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome now carrying the name “Mall of America Field” for Vikings games.

Lake Calhoun, middle of the popular “chain of lakes” trio that includes Lake of the Isles to the north and Lake Harriet to the south, was named long before the Park Board’s creation in 1883. One theory has the lake being dedicated to Calhoun in recognition of his 1817-25 stint as secretary of war, when he ordered the establishment of Fort Snelling.

But he also was part of “the great triumvirate” of orators who dominated politics during the first half of the 19th century, engaging in debates that foreshadowed the Civil War.

In 1836 he told the U.S. Senate that slavery as a permanent institution in the South was not a matter open to debate: “The relation which now exists between the two races has existed for two centuries,” Calhoun said. “We will not, cannot, permit it to be destroyed … come what will, should it cost every drop of blood.”

The first hearing on a name change would be within six months, if the board moves ahead with a review.

Anthony Lonetree • 612-673-4109

UPDATE: The attorney from the Minneapolis Park Board has determined that the city has no authority to change the name. You can read the updated story here.


Along The Way: Elrosa man creates scaled Civil War replica cannons

Written by
Jenny Berg
Special to the St. Cloud Times

ELROSA, Minn. – David Heinze, known to many as The Cannon Man, has been building accurately scaled Civil War replica cannons for 15 years.

“Farmers need something to keep them busy when they retire so they don’t go goofy in the head,” said Heinze, who is from Elrosa.

On May 21 at the Paynesville Area Historical Society, Heinze will discuss his construction techniques as well as bring eight Napoleon-style cannons of different sizes and shoot four times with blanks. Heinze said his cannons are built for black, slow-burning powder, as opposed to the fast-burning rifle powder real cannons used in battle.

“Most of my equipment I had to build myself because nobody out there was going to tell me how to do it,” Heinze said of his hobby. “These are the first cannons like this I’ve ever seen.”

David Heinze, known to many as The Cannon Man, has been building accurately scaled Civil War replica cannons for 15 years. / Jenny Berg

Heinze, 69, farmed south of Elrosa before moving to town in 2000. He keeps busy welding and restoring old engines and carburetors, but his favorite hobby is building cannons. He uses pieces of metal from junkyards and other common bolts to create his replicas.

“It’s a lot of tedious work, taking about 60 hours to build these cannons, and I might be shorting myself,” Heinze said. “It’s all machined, milled, indexed and everything is done so it’s accurately built.”

The Civil War has always interested Heinze, and he owns a small collection of artifacts, most notably two bayonets.

He has a breadth of knowledge about Civil War history, and specifically about cannons in battle, noting a lot of soldiers died when cannons exploded.

Heinze recalls the intensity of his cannons as they fire, and said 2 feet of flame is visible out of the barrel in the dark.

“These cannons will roll back about 20 feet,” Heinze said about firing his replicas. “They sing and dance and make blue smoke.”

Heinze plans to build more cannons, and also is building replicas of limber carts, which were used to transport cannons during the Civil War. Ultimately, his knack for building things and his love of history keep him creating his cannons.

“It’s very challenging,” Heinze said with a grin. “But I love to mesmerize the kids.”

Tribute to Maplewood, Minn. police sergeant Joe Bergeron

Even though this has nothing to do with the Civil War, it was one year ago today that the Maplewood, Minn. Police Department lost Sergeant Joe Bergeron, who was killed in action while responding to a carjacking. The editor of this blog wishes to have you take a moment of silence in Joe’s memory and then watch this video. Thank you.

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