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Civil War Military Units from Minnesota: 11th Minnesota

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11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry
The last infantry regiment recruited in Minnesota, the 11th Regiment entered service in September of 1864.  Much of their career was spent guarding the important railroad link between Louisville, Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee.  Though involved in a few skirmishes with Confederate guerrillas, the 11th Minnesota did not participate in any major battles.  The regiment returned to Minnesota in June of 1865 and was mustered out of service in July.

Books

The Eleventh Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Infantry: 1865-1906.
Minneapolis Minnesota: Hahn & Harmon Company, Printers, [1906]
MNHS call number: E515.5 11th .E4 1906

"Narrative of the Eleventh Regiment" by Rufus Davenport.
In Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, Vol. 1, p.488-491.
St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2005.
MNHS call number: Reading Room E515 .M66 2005

The Buffers, by Billy Bugel [W. A. Fisher].
Minneapolis Minnesota: Perry Print Co., 1908.
MNHS call number: E515.5 11th .F47 1908

Manuscripts

John S. Moulton Diary and Transcript, 1865.
Original and typed transcript of a pocket diary with daily entries kept by a lieutenant in Company E of the 11th Minnesota Infantry Regiment. The diary documents the company’s guard duty of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad at Gallatin (Tenn.), the mustering out of the company, and Moulton’s return to civilian life. Brief entries describe the monotony of camp life, daily guard duty, target drills, the severity of the weather, the wait for pay, and recreational diversions such as ball playing, euchre games, and music. Noteworthy entries recall the killing of two company men by guerrillas in a churchyard; receiving news of the fall of Richmond, the evacuation of Petersburg, Lee’s surrender, and Lincoln’s assassination; and the surrender of the guerrilla force that raided the Nashville area.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P1933).

Eleventh Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Association, Records, 1864-1913.
Data about former members of the regiment collected by Wilford C. Wilson, president of the association, including rosters, correspondence, biographical sketches, miscellaneous notes, and newspaper clippings.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (BH5/.M643 11th).

Civil War letters of Chester E. Evans, 1864-1865.
Handwritten originals and/or typed transcripts of twelve letters (1864-1865) from Evans to his wife Helen, while serving as a member of Company F, Eleventh Regiment of Minnesota Volunteers. The bulk of the letters (Nov. 1864 - Apr. 1865) were written while Company F was stationed at South Tunnel, Tennessee, guarding the railway tunnel of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad against attacks by Confederate guerrillas. In them Evans describes camp life, including living conditions, military duties, and social activities, guerrilla activity in the area and other military actions, the weather, and his health; makes observations on and expresses his feelings about the war; recounts the company’s celebration after learning of Lee’s surrender; and advises Helen on running the family farm (in Maple Grove Township) and managing their finances.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P939: Evans, Chester E.).

William H. Van Kleeck Diaries, 1864, Aug. 14-1865, July 15.
Two diaries (Aug. 14, 1864-July 15, 1865) that record the civil war experiences of a Rich Valley (Minn.) man who served as a commissary sergeant in the Minnesota 11th infantry regiment. William H. Van Kleeck enlisted at Fort Snelling (Aug. 15, 1864) and assumed the position of commissary sergeant (Aug. 28, 1864). He was sent to Tennessee (Sept. 1864) and headquartered at Nashville, Mitchellsville, and Gallatin. The diaries discuss Van Kleeck’s experiences at Fort Snelling, his duties in securing and distributing the regiment’s rations, confederate guerrilla activity, the Battle of Nashville (Dec. 1864), the weather, recreational activities, Van Kleeck’s illnesses, the celebration of Lee’s surrender (April 1865), and the regiment’s return and discharge at Fort Snelling (July 1865).
MNHS call number:  See the finding aid in the library (P1948).

Edward Z. Needham Papers, 1859-1865.
Needham’s diaries (6 volumes) describing a wagon trip from Massachusetts to Northfield, Minnesota (1859); Minnesota farm life and social activities; and his Civil War service (1861-1865) with the First and Eleventh Minnesota infantry regiments. Accompanied by personal memorabilia (14 items).
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (Microfilm M55).

John H. Mitchell and Family Papers, 1858-1865.
Letters of Mitchell while serving with the 11th Regiment of Minnesota Volunteers in Tennessee, and of his wife Emily on their farm in Hennepin County. His letters describe the regiment’s movements, local living conditions, his relationship with his fellow soldiers and officers, and his promotion to lieutenant. Emily’s letters tell of the difficulty of trying to operate the farm without help, the health of the children and herself, and local activities.
MNHS Call number: See the finding aid in the library (P1476).

Mary E. Richards and Family Papers, 1851-1865.
Originals and photocopies of correspondence (1851-1914), picture postcards (undated and 1906-1965), drawings, photographs, and tax and insurance documents of Mary E. and Amasa K. Richards and their son, George W. Richards. The bulk of the correspondence (1851-1890) was sent to Mary while she resided in Shakopee and Wayzata, Minnesota, from family members in Massachusetts and Iowa, and from Amasa during the time he served in the Civil War (1864-1865). Amasa's letters (September 1864-July 1865) relate his service with the Minnesota 11th Regiment at South Tunnel Station outside of Nashville. 
MNHS call number: Digital Findind Aid

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