Thursday, August 28, 2014

TBT - The First Minnesota Battery Light Artillery in the Civil War

Battle Flag of the First Minnesota Battery Light Artillery - Minnesota State Historical Society Museum, St. Paul, MN

Today's Throwback Thursday reflects the reading I've been doing over the past month or so. In July, my husband and I took our first road trip through the Deep South, stopping at Civil War sites along the way. Being from Minnesota, we paid special attention to those sites where MN soldiers campaigned.

When most people, if they're interested in the Civil War at all, hear "The First Minnesota," they think infantry, the first volunteer soldiers for the Union, the unit that stopped Pickett's famous charge at Gettysburg and changed the course of the war.

But this flag belongs to the First Minnesota Battery Light Artillery. Cannons, not rifles. They saw action in the Army of the West, Grant's Army. 

The Minnesota Monument at Vicksburg, MS
Lady Liberty with the Sword of War and the Wreath of Peace
 On our vacation, we stopped at the battlefield of Vicksburg, MS, and there we saw the monument erected to the MN soldiers who took part in the siege. As an artillery unit, the 1st MN took part in the daily (and nightly) barrage of the river town that lasted 47 days. Thousands of shells descended on the city, and the cannon gunners were kept busy round the clock.
The First Minnesota Battery Light Artillery Monument at Vicksburg, 1907.
Reunion of the First Minnesota Battery Light Artillery, Winona, MN 1888

This battery marched with Sherman to the sea and had the honor of participating in the Grand Army Review in Washington D.C. following the war. Their total fatalities during the war totaled 38 men, 1 officer and 7 enlisted men killed in action or dying as a result of wounds, 1 officer and 29 enlisted men dying of disease. 

What about you? Is there a particular battle or regiment of the Civil War that interests you?

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  1. Never realized until recently how much travel and research goes into an author writing a book. Jodi Hedlund writes such great historical romance novels, you learn as you read. And I saw where Colleen Coble and Denise Hunter are in the midst of a road trip researching their next novels.

    1. For some the research is onerous, but for me and a lot of writers, the research can be addictive.I have always loved history, and I do love using actual historical events in my stories. And buying history books. :)

  2. Interesting post, Erica - thanks!!

    I don't know/retain a lot of info about the specific Civil War battles, but love reading books set during that era, touring the battle grounds as I come across them, and love learning from posts such as yours - since I never seem to have the time to study them in depth.


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