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Civil War Military Units from Minnesota: 2nd Minnesota

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2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

Second Minnesota Volunteer Infantry 
As part of the 3rd Division 14th Army Corps of the Army of the Ohio, the 2nd Minnesota served in the Western Theater of the war from 1861 - 1865.  They had a notable role in several battles, particularly Mills Spring, Chickamauga and Chattanooga.  They also took part in the Atlanta Campaign and Sherman's March through Georgia and the Carolinas.  They were present at the surrender of General Joseph Johnston's Confederate army in April, 1865 and took part in the Grand Review in Washington, D. C. in May.  They mustered out of service on July 11, 1865.

Books

The Story of a Regiment: Being A Narrative of the Service of the Second Regiment Minnesota Veteran Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War, 1861 - 1865, by Judson W. Bishop; with history of Judson Bishop and additional chapters by Newell L. Chester, editor.  
St. Cloud, MN: North Star Press of St. Cloud: 2000.
MNHS Call Number: E515.5 2nd B59 2000

The Boys of Wasioja, by Michael Eckers.
Community News Corporation, 2009.
MNHS Call Number: F612 D69 W35 2009
 
The Mill Springs Campaign: Some Observations and Experiences of a Company Officer, by Judson Wade Bishop
St. Paul, MN: Saint Paul Book and Stationary Company, 1890.
MNHS Call Number: E472.9 B62

Pen Pictures from the Second Minnesota: Personal Recollections of a Private Soldier and Marching Thro' Georgia, by T. H. Pedergast ; transcribed by Diane Rosenow.
Roseville, MN: Park Genealogical Books, 1998.
MNHS Call Number: E515.5 2nd P46 1998

Official Records Concerning the Second Regiment, Minnesota Veteran Volunteer Infantry, 1887, compiled by J. W. Bishop.
St. Paul, MN: H. M. Smyth Print Company, 1887.
MNHS Call Number: E515.5 2nd O33 1887

A Drummer-Boy's Diary: Comprising Four Years Service with the Second Regiment Minnesota Veteran Volunteers, 1861 to 1865, by William Bircher; with history of William Bircher, history of drummer-boys, by Newell L. Chester, editor.
Saint Cloud, MN: North Star Press of St. Cloud, 1995.
MNHS Call Number: E515.5 2nd E57 1995

Manuscripts

Seawall P. Norton Diary and Other Papers, [undated] and 1865.
Diary recording the movements of Company K, Second Minnesota Infantry, during its march from Savannah, Georgia to Washington, D.C. (February 6 - March 7, 1865). It details conditions en route (poor roads, rainy weather, scarcity of food), wartime destruction (burning of towns, houses, barns, railroads), and the conduct of both the Union and Confederate soldiers.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P1505).

Solon K. Cheadle and Family Papers, (bulk 1864 - 1894).
A soldier’s diary (1864), letters written by Solon and other family members, photographs, genealogical information, and other papers of a Le Sueur County man who served in the Civil War with the Second Minnesota Infantry and later moved to Colorado, where he owned a lumber business and general store, and worked as a guard in a silver mine.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Michael Roush Dresbach Letters and Reminiscence, 1864-1865.
Letters written by Dresbach as a member of the Second Minnesota Infantry describe in considerable detail the military life of a Civil War private and corporal, serving largely in Tennessee and Georgia, and particularly his participation in General William T. Sherman’s march from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia, and through the Carolinas. A later reminiscence offers additional details.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P1567 and +154).

Thomas Downs Civil War Diary and Related Papers, 1861-1865.
The collection includes a diary (August 1862-March 1863) as well as a photocopied transcript of this and two or more other diaries (1861-1865) kept by Thomas Downs, a Nicollet County member of Company E of the Second Minnesota Infantry Regiment, describing in detail his experiences as a private, corporal, and sergeant with the unit in Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Downs describes a number of actions in Tennessee, as well as Sherman’s march through Georgia.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P1061).

Thomas Fitch Diary, 1861-1863, 1878-1879.
Diary of a Fillmore County man, detailing his Civil War service (1861-1863) as a member of Company A, Second Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment and reflecting his work as a school teacher (1878-1879). The Civil War entries (June 1861-Sept. 1863) document Fitch’s experiences in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. Topics relating to the regiment’s service include the battles of Mill Springs and Perryville; burial of the dead and removal of the wounded at Shiloh; the Siege of Corinth; pursuits, campaigns, and occupations in Kentucky and Tennessee; and the beginning of the Battle of Chickamauga. 
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P961).

Axel Hayford Reed Diaries, 1861-1865.
Reed’s diaries as a lieutenant with the Second Minnesota Infantry during the Civil War, partly written in retrospect, giving details on marches, camp life, battles, and military discipline; on William T. Sherman’s march through Georgia (1864-1865); and on Reed’s reactions to the war and its conduct, military leaders, slavery, the death of President Abraham Lincoln, and the end of the war.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (A/.R324a).

Minnesota Infantry 2nd Regiment, Letter Book, 1861-1862
Copies of letters from Colonels Horatio P. Van Cleve and James George concerning requisitions for clothing and ordnance stores, troop assignments, personnel, marches and battles, transmission of monthly returns, and other administrative matters during the regiment’s Civil War service in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama. 
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (M219).

John Reed Beatty Papers, 1858-1924.
Letters relating to Beatty’s service as a captain in Company H, Second Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, who served during the Civil War from 1861 to 1865. The letters are mainly to Laura E. Maxfield in Mankato whom he married in 1864, and contain accounts of his daily activities as well as his efforts to obtain promotions and furloughs, and to resign. They also reflect his views and opinions on Blacks and slavery, the local populace and countryside in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia, his strong political opinions about Copperheads and Democrats, and his support of Lincoln. There are some descriptions of the wounded, sick, and general conditions in military hospitals, battlefields and battlefield conditions. These letters are also love-letters and reflect his views on Laura teaching school in Mankato, on their relationship, on Laura’s pregnancy, and on the birth of their son.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P1669).

Moody C. Tolman Papers, 1856-1871.
Primarily memoranda, reports, and invoices documenting the work of Tolman and other surgeons with the 2nd Minnesota Infantry and the U.S. 14th Army Corps during the Civil War. Most are concerned with such matters as treatment of the wounded, staff assignments, hospital operations, supplies management, and reporting procedures.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P1520).

Jeremiah C. Donahower Papers, 1853-1919
The bulk of the collection reflects Donahower’s service as an officer in Company E of the Second Minnesota Infantry and his continuing interest in military matters, participation in military-related organizations and events, and contacts with military comrades. Of particular interest are his account of the 1861 march of companies D and E from Fort Ridgely to the agency for the Upper Sisseton Sioux (Dakota) at Yellow Medicine and the events that took place there (1905); his three-volume manuscript entitled "Narrative of the Civil War"; and the materials he gathered as a member of the Minnesota commission for erecting monuments on the battlefields of Chickamauga and Chattanooga.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (M561).

John S. Sherburne and Family Papers, 1836-1942.
A variety of papers relating to descendants of territorial judge Moses Sherburne, including a significant number of letters written by Moses’ son John S. Sherburne, a soldier in the 2nd Minnesota Infantry Regiment during the Civil War, who died of wounds received shortly after the Battle of Chickamauga.
MNHS call numberDigital Finding Aid

Judson Wade Bishop and Family Papers, 1819-1973.
The bulk of the papers reflect J. W. Bishop’s service during the Civil War as an officer with the Minnesota 2nd Infantry Regiment; his publication of the regiment’s history; its reunions; and his involvement in the establishment of the Chickamauga-Chatanooga National Military Park (1893-1894, 1900). 
MNHS call numberDigital Finding Aid

Horatio P. Van Cleve and Family Papers, 1827-1970.
A large portion of the collection consists of family correspondence during Van Cleve's Civil War service as colonel (eventually general) with the 2nd Minnesota Infantry.
MNHS call numberDigital Finding Aid  

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