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Civil War Military Units from Minnesota: 2nd Minnesota Battery of Light Artillery

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2nd Minnesota Battery of Light Artillery

2nd Battery of Light Artillery:
Mustered into service in the winter of 1861 - 1862.  They were commanded by William A. Hotchkiss, a veteran artillery officer who had served in the Mexican War.  In April 1862 the battery was sent of Benton Barracks, Missouri where it received further training and equipment.  They joined General Rosecrans forces at the siege of Corinth, Mississippi at the end of May.  
 
After the fall of Corinth, the battery continued with Rosecran's forces in Tennessee and Kentucky seeing its first action at the Battle of Perryville, Ky on October 8, 1862.  On December 31, they were again in combat at the Battle of Stones River or Murfreesboro. Here they were involved in very heavy fighting with three men of the battery killed, six wounded and one man missing.  In the summer and fall of 1863 the 2nd Battery took part in Rosecrans campaign through Tennessee that climaxed with the battle of Chickamauga Sept. 19 - 20. 1863. Here the Second Battery was engaged in fierce fighting on the first day of the battle, but had a limited role in the rest of the fighting.
 
Following the defeat at Chickamauga, the 2nd Battery along with the remainder of the Army of the Cumberland, was stranded for months in the city of Chattanooga. On November 25th the Union Army broke out of the city storming the Confederate positions on Missionary Ridge.  The Second Battery took part in the fighting particularly in the pursuit of the retreating Confederates.  During the following spring, enlistments of many men in the battery expired and they were invited to reenlist or "veteranize".  Although 50 men chose to do so, there were not enough to act as an artillery battery. For the remainder of their service the men of the Second Battery acted as mounted troops, patrolling the Union supply lines near Chattanooga.  They were mustered out of service on August 16, 1865.

Articles

"Ordinary Heroes: The Second Minnesota Battery of Light Artillery", by Vickie Wendel.
Article in Minnesota History, vol 59.
MNHS call number: Digital Copy

Manuscripts

William Henry Shaw Diary, 1864
Diary (April-July) of Shaw’s Civil War service with the Second Battery of Minnesota Light Artillery near Chattanooga, Tennessee, noting battles and skirmishes, weather, marches, and the countryside.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (A/-S537w).

Lyman Warren Ayer Papers, 1862-1864
Letters (1862-1864), research notes (1961), and biographical information on the son of Minnesota missionaries Frederick and Elizabeth Taylor Ayer, who worked variously as a teacher, fur trader, and timber cruiser, and who was a veteran of the Second Battery of Minnesota Light Artillery during the Civil War. The four Civil War letters (1862-1864) were written to his wife and parents from Nashville and Chattanooga describing his life in the camps, his opinions of the morals displayed in them, his efforts to obtain a commission to raise a four-gun battery in Minnesota, Southern forces, missionary work among Southern Blacks, and advice to his wife on her education and musical progress.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P2146).

William A. Spaulding Civil War Diaries, 1861-1865
Three pocket diaries with brief entries describing Spaulding’s enlistment and service in the Second Minnesota Light Artillery Battery during the Civil War. Accompanied by typed transcripts of the diaries and genealogical and biographical information.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Francis S. Flint and Family Papers, 1855-1881
Correspondence, legal documents, a school district record book, soldier’s diaries, and other papers relating to Benton County, Minnesota farmer and Civil War veteran Francis S. Flint; his father, Schuyler Flint; and his war-time comrade, William A. Spaulding. Civil War information consisting of numerous letters from Francis S. Flint while in service with the 2nd Battery Minnesota Light Artillery, two small war diaries of Will A. Spaulding, and a record book of a religious organization in the 2nd Battery.  
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

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