Skip to main content

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


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.

Next Up

giant bear

Video: 'THE fattest bear we have ever seen' spotted on MN trail camera

"This might be THE fattest bear we have ever seen in our area," researchers said.

u.s. attorney

Guilty plea from man who stockpiled guns, equipment to make bombs, drugs

Prosecutors say he had multiple guns, items to make weapons and pipe bombs, and lab equipment to make drugs.

polaris Ranger XP Kinetic

Here is Polaris' new electric Ranger off-road vehicle

The Minnesota-based company unveiled the electric UTV on Wednesday.


MN women's soccer team narrows name, logo options to final 3

The winning nickname and logo will be announced in January.

Kirill Kaprizov

2nd period surge leads Wild to fourth straight win

With three goals in the second, the Wild blasted the last-place Coyotes.

Gopher Basketball / R.J. Stephens

Late-tip in helps Gophers pass first big test, improve to 6-0

Luke Loewe's bucket with 2.4 seconds remaining helped the Gophers stay undefeated.


Man, 40, found dead stuck in air duct at his Otter Tail Co. home

The discovery was made by family members Monday morning.

Biden Minnesota visit stream screengrab - 11.30.31

What Biden said during his visit to Minnesota Tuesday

The president spoke at Dakota County Technical College.

Grand Marais

Cook County registers its first COVID-19 death of the pandemic

The sparsely populated, highly-vaccinated county has continuously had one of the lowest rates of COVID in the state.

Waits family screengrab CNN

Support for MN family after anti-maskers target child of school board chair

An online group opposing Kelsey Waits outed the child as transgender.


Minn. soldier's Civil War grave to be re-dedicated

The grave of a St. Paul solider who died in the Battle of Antietam during the Civil War will be re-dedicated Saturday at at Calvary Cemetery in St. Paul. Pvt. Edmund Sampare of St. Paul died during the battle on Sept. 17, 1862. The re-dedication of the grave will mark the last Civil War remembrance event in Minnesota this year to mark the 150th anniversary of the war.

Minnesota Civil War soldier to get grave marker

A Civil War soldier from central Minnesota will be honored with a marker placed on his grave. Edgar Lewis was buried in a Hewitt cemetery without a marker when he died 93 years ago.

World War I monument defaced with graffiti

Police are still looking for the person responsible for vandalizing a Minneapolis landmark honoring more than 550 soldiers that lost their lives during World War One. KARE 11 reports the Victory Memorial Drive granite monument was sprayed with red spray paint Friday night.