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Remembering the 'snow diggers': Minnesota Civil War monument to be dedicated

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A monument remembering the Minnesota soldiers who made a decisive charge in what is considered the last major battle of the Civil War will be dedicated Sunday afternoon.

The Minnesota Monument will highlight the pivotal role four Minnesota regiments played to rout the Confederate Army of Tennessee in the Battle of Nashville on Dec. 16, 1864, according to a news release.

Eighty-seven soldiers died, which made it the single bloodiest day of the war for Minnesota, The Associated Press says. The Minnesotans were known as "snow diggers" – almost two-thirds of them were from southern Minnesota, according to the Rochester Post Bulletin.

As the Minnesotans crested Shy's Hill during the battle, General John MacArthur is reported to have yelled "Hurrah for the snow diggers," the Sherburne County Citizen says.

This is the first monument to be installed on the Nashville Battlefield at Shy's Hill, the news release says.

The Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force and Battle of Nashville Preservation Society are dedicating the new Minnesota Monument as part of Minnesota's 150th sesquicentennial Civil War ceremonies to commemorate and remember Minnesota soldiers who fought in the war.

“Here in Nashville we have long recognized the role played by the Minnesota troops in the battle and consider it a great honor to have Minnesota, on this the 150th anniversary, install this beautiful monument. It will be a great addition to our preservation efforts here in Nashville," John Allyn, president of the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society, said in a news release.

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