First Minnesota

1st-Minnesota-webAs the day wound down on July 2, 1863, Alabama troops under the command of Brigadier General Cadmus Wilcox threatened to overwhelm Union forces in their front and capture Cemetery Ridge.

Union officers desperately assembled artillery to provide some degree of protection for retreating Yankee regiments.

In a last ditch effort to buy some time, Union General Winfield Scott Hancock instructed the men of the 1st Minnesota to strike the advancing Alabamians and to take their colors.

Eight companies (262 men) charged into the breach. There were 215 casualties for a full 82 percent loss.

On July 3rd this same Minnesota regiment lost an additional 17 men during “Pickett’s Charge”.

This was the largest percentage of loss suffered by any Union regiment during the entire war.

Located on South Hancock Avenue, the monument to the First Minnesota was dedicated on July 2, 1897 at a cost of $16,000.00

On top of the base a bronze soldier at the “double quick” runs toward the ravine where contact was made with the boys from Alabama.

 

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