Last Full Measure
The Life and Death of the First Minnesota Volunteers
Publication Year: 2001
Published by: Minnesota Historical Society Press
Title Page, Copyright
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Military historians are fond of the hoary old adage that, on the day of battle, naked truths are there for the seeing; very soon they put on their uniforms. Those of us who served as cornbat historians in the Pacific were well aware of this warning; hence...
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Like most boys growing up in Minnesota at midcentury, I saw the Civil War as ancient and largely irrelevant history. It was simply too remote in time, place, and effect to have much meaning for a youngster preoccupied with the here and now. That began to change one day, however, when, for reasons long forgotten, I was selected to be...
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One of the joys of writing about American history is the opportunity to meet and work with people who love history, whether they are professional historians, archivists, librarians, collectors,...
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Gen. George Gordon Meade, the commander of the Army of the Potornac, was emboldened by his recent successes against the Confederate army. Not only had he defeated Robert E. Lee several months earlier at Gettysburg, the single most important...
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The train carrying the First Minnesota pulled into Washington near midnight on 26 June. There to greet it was Col. Cyrus Aldrich, one of Minnesota’s two congressmen, “followed by a large squad of colored servants, bearing pails of hot coffee, baskets of sandwiches, and other refreshments.”’ It appears that the “other
EDWARDS’ FERRY [Includes Image Plates]
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On 23 July the regiment returned to its campsite on Capitol Hill, where the Minnesotans used the humiliation at Bull Run to give voice to all their frustrations. “Here . . . for the only time in the service of the regiment, was manifested some slight feeling of discontent and lack of morale,” Lochren recalled years later with characteristic...
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The Taylor brothers awoke the morning of 27 March to discover that their regiment had left without them. Apparently unconcerned, they took advantage of the unexpected chance to do some sight-seeing in Alexandria. They visited the Marshall House, where, in the first days of the war, Elmer Ellsworth, a friend of Lincoln’s...
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While Isaac and Henry Taylor were wondering whether they would ever get off Belle Isle, their regiment was on the steamer Mississippi heading back up the Chesapeake. To Edward Walker, conditions on board were almost as oppressive as...
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Named in 1825 for the Great Liberator, then fighting for national independence several thousand miles to the south, Bolivar Heights was a ridge running roughly north and south about two miles west of Harpers Ferry and three hundred feet above it....
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"Old Hooker,” as Walker called him, had spent the last several months planning an attack on the Confederates still dug in across the Rappahannock behind Fredericksburg. To repeat Burnside’s assault on Marye’s Heights would be sheer folly; Lee had...
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Cut free from its supply line to Virginia, Lee’s army split into three parts, which foraged their way leisurely through southern Pennsylvania. Longstreet’s and A. P. Hill’s corps were twenty five miles northwest of Gettysburg, at Chambersburg; part of Richard...
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The next morning, the Fourth of July, the men awoke fully expecting a resumption of the fighting. Hancock had, in fact, urged Meade to follow up the destruction of Pickett’s force with...
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Page Count: 368
Illustrations: 19 b&w photos, 5 maps
Publication Year: 2001