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Civil War Military Units from Minnesota: 6th Minnesota

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6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry
Recruited in the spring and summer of 1862, this  newly-organized, very "green" regiment was rushed into the fight against the Dakota in August of that year, some of its men seeing action at Birch Coolie and Wood Lake.  The 6th Regiment was not officially mustered into service until October. It spent the winter of 1862-1863 guarding the frontier against the Indians. The following summer they were part of General Sibley's campaign against the Dakota that extended to the Missouri River.  Following another winter on the frontier, the 6th Regiment was sent south to Helena, Arkansas.  A combination of climate and the unsanitary location of their camp caused them great hardship.  Hundreds of men became ill and more than 50 died. In April, 1865 the regiment took part in the capture of Mobile, Alabama.  At the close of the war they spent a few months in Montgomery, AL, eventually returning to Minnesota where the mustered out of service at Fort Snelling on August 19, 1865.

Books

"Narrative of the Sixth Regiment," by Charles W. Johnson. 
In Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, Vol. I, p. 300 - 328.
St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2005.
MNHS call number: E515.M66 2005

1862, "Good Old Company H!": Incidents in Campaigns of the Sioux Outbreak in 1862, by F. J. Patten.
Marshall, MN: F. J. Patten [1962].
MNHS call number: E83.86 .P386 1962

History of Company E, Sixth Minnesota Regiment of Volunteer Infantry, by Alfred J. Hill
St. Paul, Minn. : T.H. Lewis, 1899 (St. Paul : Pioneer Press Co.).
MNHS call number: E515.5 6th .H

Sixth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, Scrapbook, compiled by Grace M. Longfellow.
MNHS call number: E515.5 6th .S59 

Manuscripts

Henry J. Snyder Letters, 1863-1865.
Writing to his wife Maria during his Civil War service with the Sixth Minnesota Infantry, Snyder describes camp life and sicknesses during the regiment’s service at Camp Pope and on the Minnesota frontier, in Helena (Ark.), at Jefferson Barracks (Mo.), and at Prairie du Chien (Wis.).
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P869).

George R. Adams Papers, 1862-1864.
Correspondence (1862-1864), diaries (1862-1864), military orders (1863-1864), biographical information, and photographs relating to a Civil War soldier in Company D, 6th Regiment, Minnesota Infantry Volunteers, who eventually died in 1864 of an illness contracted in Helena, Arkansas. The collection records Adams’ participation in the Minnesota Dakota Conflict of 1862 and his regiment’s 1864 journey from Minnesota down the Mississippi River to Helena, Arkansas. The poor medical and sanitary conditions in Helena that led to much illness and death among the troops is the main theme of the papers. Other subjects include the attitude of the civilian population toward the Black troops defending Helena, relationships of the Union troops to the local population, skirmishes with Confederate troops, the escape from the Confederates of an Ojibwe soldier, and places along the Mississippi River, especially Cairo, Illinois.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P1663).

Hubert N. Eggleston Papers, 1862-1888.
Diary describing Eggleston’s service with the Sixth Minnesota Regiment handling Indian prisoners after the Dakota Conflict (October-December, 1862) and on the Sibley expedition against the Dakota (July 1863). Included also are two letters from his mother (1860s), reflecting Civil War civilian attitudes in the North, and personal memorabilia.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (A/-E29h).

Henry M. Huntington Letter, 1862, Sept. 9.
Written to his father from Fort Ridgely. Describes service in the 6th Minnesota Infantry, Company D, particularly their participation in the rescue of troops at Birch Coulee.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (M582: Huntington).

Robert N. McLaren Papers, 1862-1877.
Letters, diary, and miscellaneous papers of McLaren, largely documenting his service with the Sixth Minnesota Infantry in the Dakota Conflict (1862) and on the Sully Expedition into Dakota Territory  (1863-1864). The Dakota Conflict letters discuss marches, military actions, and the condition of women and children refugees. The Sully Expedition letters and diary give his opinions on Sully’s strategies, hardships of the march, movements of the Indians, and the expedition’s successes. Also present are letters (1866) documenting his appointment to secure a treaty with Dakota Indians at Fort Laramie, Wyoming; a few personal and family letters; and five commissions and appointments (1862-1877).
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (A/.M161).

Quartermaster Accounts, 1862-1863.
Accounts of clothing issued to the members of Company B during service in Minnesota and on the 1863 Sibley Expedition. One account (June 13, 1863), dated from "Camp Pope," lists clothing issued and payment made to Francis F. Mitchell, wagoner.  
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (M582: Minnesota Infantry).

Charles H. Watson Letters, 1862-1865.
Letters and a clipping describing Watson’s service in the Sixth Minnesota Infantry during the Dakota Conflict (1862), on the Sibley expedition (1863), and in Civil War campaigns in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alabama (1864-1865). Includes typed transcripts.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P958).

John Nelson Papers, 1860-1866.
Includes three small diaries (1860-1865) kept by John Nelson. The first entries in volume 1 list Nelson’s wages and other financial information. Subsequent entries (Oct. 31, 1862-1865) describe military life and the movements of the Sixth Regiment during the Dakota War and the Civil War. The first two volumes relate the company’s march during the punitive expedition against the Sioux in Western Minnesota and Dakota Territory during 1863, and the subsequent removal of the Dakota. Entries in volume 3 trace the action of the regiment from its departure from Fort Snelling in June, 1864, to the final battles and skirmishes of the Civil War in July, 1865. The regiment was stationed in Helena (Ark.) and then moved on to St. Louis, New Orleans, Mobile Bay, and finally to Montgomery (Ala.). A large part of the diary relates the regiment’s battles and skirmishes in Alabama.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P1667).

Company F Records, 1855-1887.
Correspondence, muster rolls, payrolls, quartermaster’s records of clothing and of camp and garrison equipment received, enlistment and discharge papers of some of the members, orders concerning appointments in the company and the movement of troops, and miscellaneous papers regarding deceased soldiers. The records relate largely to Company F, whose captain was Horace B. Wilson; a few items relate to the 6th Regiment in general.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (BG4/.M643 6th F).

John Kingley Wood Diary, 1855-1865.
A diary kept by Wood as a member of Company F of the Sixth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry on Henry H. Sibley’s punitive expeditions following the 1862 Dakota Conflict, in Minnesota frontier forts, and at the Sioux encampment near Fort Snelling until June 1864, and thereafter in the South during the remainder of the Civil War. 
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library(A/-W876).

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