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Civil War Military Units from Minnesota: 3rd Minnesota

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3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry
Commissioned in November of 1861, this regiment was initially sent to Tennessee.  As part of the Army of the Cumberland, the third Minnesota joined a brigade guarding the important crossroads of Murfreesboro.  Here they were surprised and captured by Confederate forces under Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest in July of 1862.  The paroled regiment was sent back to Minnesota where it took part in the Dakota War.  As the only fully trained unit in General Sibley's Command the 3rd Minnesota was important to his success, particularly at the battle of Wood Lake.  After reorganization the 3rd was again sent south in January 1863 joining the 2nd Division of the 16th Army Corps.  The following summer they took part in the siege of Vicksburg and later were part of the Arkansas campaign and transferred to the Army of Arkansas.  They were among the forces supporting the unsuccessful Red River Campaign the following year.  They remained part of the 2nd Division, 7th Army Corps, Dept. of Arkansas until discharged in September, 1865.  As occupation troops in Arkansas the regiment suffered many losses due to disease.

Books

 
Go if You Think it Your Duty: A Minnesota Couple's Civil War Letters,  edited by Andrea R. Foroughi. 
St. Paul, MN : Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2008.
Letters of James Madison Bowler and Elizabeth Caleff Bowler.
MNHS call number: Reading Room E601. B79 2008, also available for purchase
 
"Our Disgraceful Surrender": The Third Minnesota Infantry's Disintegration and Reconstruction in 1862-1863, by Joseph C. Fitzharris.
Denton, TX: University of North Texas, c.2000.
MNHS call number: E515.5 3rd .F57 2000
 
Four Years with a Minnesota Soldier in the Civil WarTypescripts, by Charles E. Hunt. 
Diary, probably of Private Charles J. Strand, with comments by Charles E. Hunt.
MNHS call number: E515.5 3rd .S77 1994
 
History of the Third Regiment Infantry Minnesota Volunteers: With the Record of the Original Regiment, by C. W. Lombard.
1869.  
MNHS call number: E515.5 3d L  and Microfiche # 762.

Manuscripts

My Recollections of the Battle of Wood Lake and the Part Taken in it by the 3rd Regt., Min. Vol. Inf't. Sept. 23, 1862, by Ezra T. Champlin.
Handwritten reminiscence detailing the regiment’s actions during the battle. Read by Champlin, who served in Company D, at the regiment’s 1886 reunion.
MNHS call number. See the finding aid in the library (M582: Champlin).
 
Reminiscences of Chauncey Griggs Regarding Service in the Civil War, 1886.
Typewritten account of Griggs’ service with the Third Minnesota Volunteer Infantry in the South during the Civil War, with details of the battle of Murfreesboro (July 1862) and his appointment as Colonel (Dec. 1862) and resignation due to poor health (July 1863). It also includes a list of the regimental officers, by company. Griggs read the account at a regimental reunion in September 1886.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P939: Griggs, Chauncey Wright).
 
Diary of N. C. Parker. 1863.
Pocket diary relating Nathaniel C.  Parker’s experiences in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas as a member of the Third Minnesota Volunteers during the Civil War. There is information about gunboats and armaments, troop movements, skirmishes with Confederate forces, the capture and movement of prisoners, the fall of Vicksburg, Richmond, and Little Rock, and Parker’s return to Minnesota in December 1863.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (Res. 60).
*This is a reserve item that requires the curator's permission to view. 
 
George W. Brookins and Family Letters, 1861-1865.
The majority of the letters were written by George W. Brookins to his brother, Thurmond, while serving with the 3rd Minnesota Regiment (Oct. 14, 1861-Nov. 1864). Topics include the regiment’s surrender at Murfreesboro (Tenn.) (July 1862); its participation in the battle of Wood Lake (Sept. 23, 1862) during the Dakota Conflict; and its service during the siege of Vicksburg (Miss.) (1863) and the fall of Little Rock (Ark.) (1864).
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P1905).
 
Walter Trenerry Papers,1860-1863.
Correspondence of Walter Trenerry with various persons in his search for data on Henry Clay Lester, and copies of materials that he found. There is information on Lester’s land holdings in Winona County (Minn.); his career as colonel, Third Minnesota Infantry Regiment, especially the events attending the regiment’s surrender at Murfreesboro (Tenn.); his admission to the bar in Winona County; and other details concerning Lester’s career. There is also a letter, dated August 12, 1862, from Andrew Johnson, at that time Governor of Tennessee.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P202).
 
Carl Roos and Family Papers, 1848-1974.
Letters, diaries, genealogical data, daybooks, accounts, and religious writings of Roos, a Swedish settler (1853) in Vasa, Goodhue County (Minn.), of his family, and of the family farm. Includes Roos’ diary of his Civil War service with the Third Minnesota Infantry (1861-1863).  A translation of the diary from Swedish is available online. 
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid
 
J. W. Boxell Civil War Letters and Related Papers, 1861-1862.
Photocopies of Civil War letters from J. W. (John William) Boxell to his family, while serving in Kentucky and Tennessee as a member of Company B, Third Minnesota Volunteer Infantry.Boxell describes camp life, living conditions, military duties, marches, the weather, rural scenery and terrain, villages and cities, wartime hardships and destruction, relations with other soldiers, conflicts with officers, and interactions with local white and black residents; relates war news and information on soldiers known to his wife; emotionally expresses strong support for the Union, abolitionist sentiments, and sympathy for individual slaves and slaves collectively; offers advice to his wife and oldest son; reports on the Union defeat at Murfreesboro (July 1862), where he did not participate due to illness, and its aftermath and assesses the Union’s management of the battle.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P2572).
 
Abraham Edwards Welch and Family Papers, 1830-1879.
The bulk of the collection is composed of correspondence related to William H. Welch’s career as a lawyer and territorial justice and, especially, the war experiences of his son, Abraham Edwards Welch. Abraham served with the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment; was wounded and taken prisoner at the First Battle of Bull Run (1861); commanded the 3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Dakota Conflict (1862); and participated in the siege of Vicksburg with the 4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Abraham E. Welch died from wounds received at the siege of Vicksburg (Feb. 1, 1864).
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P1889).
 
James M. Bowler and Family Papers, 1827-1976.
Correspondence, clippings, family history and genealogy (1976), reminiscences and eulogies, and family memorabilia of Bowler, a native of Maine who settled in St. Anthony (Minneapolis) in 1858, taught school in Nininger (1861), served in the Third Minnesota Regiment during the Civil War and with the 113th United States Army Colored Infantry Regiment during Reconstruction, and was a member of the Minnesota legislature (1878). Many of the materials relate to his Civil War service with the first and third Minnesota infantry regiments at Fort Snelling (1861) and in the western theater (1861-1865); with the Sibley expedition against the Dakota Indians (1863), and as major of the 113th U.S. Colored Infantry during Reconstruction in Arkansas (1865-1866). His letters to his wife Elizabeth describe army life, battles, wartime civilian life, and his attitudes toward the war.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid
 
William D. Hale and Family Papers, 1819-1914.
The collection includes correspondence and miscellaneous papers, business records, and William D. Hale’s diaries. Correspondence covers a range of topics from the milling, lumbering, banking, and railway interests of William D. Hale and William D. Washburn and Hale’s mining interests in Arizona and Nevada to William Hale’s career with the Minnesota Third Regiment and the Fourth United States Colored Artillery. 
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Benjamin Densmore and Family Papers, 1797-1955.
The bulk of the correspondence covers the period 1862-1865 and details Benjamin’s Civil War experiences in the Third Minnesota Volunteer Infantry and the Fourth Regiment, U.S. Colored Artillery (Heavy), and those of his brother Daniel (1833-1915) in the Seventh Minnesota Infantry and the 68th Colored Infantry, during the Dakota Conflict (1862) and on the Sibley expedition (1863). The brothers discuss troop morale, the competence of officers, and their attitudes toward the South and slavery. A diary of William M. Philleo also describes the Sibley expedition.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

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