Updated:
Original:

Minnesotans honored for role at Gettysburg on 150th battle anniversary

Author:

It's been well-documented that William Colvill was the colonel who led the famous First Minnesota regiment in a battle-saving charge at Gettysburg 150 years ago today.

A much lesser-told story is what the 6-foot-5 Civil War hero did after the conflict, when he settled in Duluth and a site near Grand Marais, the Duluth News Tribune reports. Colvill became a state lawmaker and attorney general. But few personal details are available to help bring the celebrated soldier to life a century and a half later, Al Zdon, a military history author, told the the News Tribune. Zdon wrote a 110,000-word paper about Colvill, but he admits that even at that length it is not an intimate portrait of the man.

“You’d like to say you really know him,” Zdon told the newspaper. “I just never did.”

This week, the nation celebrates the anniversary of Gettysburg, the battle that helped turn the war in the Union's favor. It was the conflict's bloodiest engagement, with 51,000 casualties.

The 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry regiment – among the first to volunteer to serve in President Lincoln's Union Army – were heroes of the battle. Historians have debated the exact statistics, but it is believed that 262 Minnesota men made a suicidal charge as the Union line sagged, in an effort to allow the rest of the Union forces a few minutes to regroup. A majority of them died in the charge – but perhaps ultimately saved the battle for the Union.

The Winona Daily News noted that every man had assumed he was doomed when the charge order was made, but they bravely plunged into the gap, wrote Wayne Jorgenson, author of “Every Man did his Duty,” a history of the First Minnesota.

The Minnesota Historical Society has more information on the celebrated regiment, which served at a number of other major battles.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-10-21 at 5.14.36 PM

Mayor Carter announces COVID vaccine mandate for St. Paul city workers

It comes after Minneapolis announced the requirement for vaccines or regular testing for city workers in September.

two twelve medical center chaska GSV

Ridgeview cutting hours at 2 Minnesota urgent care locations

Hours of operation at a third location are also being shifted earlier.

Flickr - QFamily - Ben Jerrys

Latest to wade into Mpls. Question 2 debate is ... Ben & Jerry's?

The ice cream business said it supports the creation of a Department of Public Safety.

mickey moore driver's license shared

Mpls. candidate tries to 'set the record straight' about where he lives

Questions about Ward 9 candidate Mickey Moore's residency are quickly piling up.

Screen Shot 2021-10-21 at 1.49.16 PM

COVID-19 case rate drops in 51 of 87 Minnesota counties

Four of the 10 lowest case rates are metro-area counties.

unsplash - visitor patient doctor hospital emergency - crop

Allina mental health workers vote to unionize

Concerns over safety led the workers to unionize.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

Minnesota reports COVID deaths of teen student, 2 school staffers

Cases in schools rose again in the past week, though there are signs cases may have peaked.

Proctor football

Investigation of alleged misconduct on Proctor football team nears conclusion

The football team canceled its season and the coach subsequently resigned.

minnesota house of representatives

Minnesota House will continue hybrid operations, require masks in 2022

The Speaker of the House announced the plans in a memo to members and staff on Thursday.

Related