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Minnesota- 1st Infantry Memorial at Gettysburg Nat'l Military Park in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
by Jacob Fjelde

Scroll down for 11 pictures
Click here for more info

Don't miss the other attractions in Gettysburg



With the Pennsylvania Memorial to the left.

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0006000/07018_0010008829 (added ca. 2006)



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0006000/07018_0010008839 (added ca. 2006)



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0006000/07018_0010008849 (added ca. 2006)



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0006000/07018_0010008859 (added ca. 2006)



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0006000/07018_0010008869 (added ca. 2006)


With the Pennsylvania Memorial to the right.

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0006000/07018_0010008879 (added ca. 2006)



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0006000/07018_0010008889 (added ca. 2006)



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0006000/07018_0010008899 (added ca. 2006)


On the afternoon of July 2, 1863 Sickles' Third Corps, having advanced from this line to the Emmitsburg Road, eight companies of the First Minnesota Regiment, numbering 262 men were sent to this place to support a battery upon Sickles repulse. As his men were passing here in confused retreat, two Confederate brigades in pursuit were crossing the swale. To gain time to bring up the reserves & save this position, Gen [Winfield Scott] Hancock in person ordered the eight companies to charge the rapidly advancing enemy. The order was instantled repeated by Col Wm colvill. And the charge as instantly made down the slope at full speed through the concentrated fire of the two brigades breaking with the bayonet the enemy's front line as it was crossing the small brook in the low ground there the remnant of the eight companies, nearly surrounded by the enemy held its entire force at bay for a considerable time & till it retired on the approach of the reserve the charge successfullly accomplished its object. It saved this position & probably the battlefield. The loss of the eight companies in the charge was 215 killed & wounded. More than 83% percent. 47 men were still in line & no man missing. In self sacrificing desperate valor this charge has no parallel in any war. Among the severely wounded were Col Wm Colvill, Lt Col Chas P Adams & Maj Mark W. Downie. Among the killed Capt Joseph Periam, Capt Louis Muller & Lt Waldo Farrar. The next day the regiment participated in repelling Pickett's charge losing 17 more men killed & wounded.

See smaller monument [??] a mile to the right.

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0006000/07018_0010008909 (added ca. 2006)



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0006000/07018_0010008919 (added ca. 2006)


Sacrifice of the 1st Minnesota
"Every man realized in an instant what that order meant - death or wounds to us all, the sacrifice of a regiment to gain a few minutes' time ...
Lieut William [?] U.S.A.
1st Minnesota Infantry"


Late in the afternoon of July 2, after the collapse of the Union line at the Peach Orchard, Confederate infantry in front of you threatened to pour through a gap in the Union line here. When Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock, commander of the Union Second Corps, rode up to assess the situation, only one regiment was at hand to stop the Confederate tide -- the 1st Minnesota.

"My god, are these all the men we have here?" Hancock asked. It was, but they would have to do. "Charge the lines!" shouted Hancock, and immediately the lone regiment swept down the slope "double quick." With levelled bayonets, the Minnesotans crashed into Brig. Gen. Cadmus M. Wilcox's Alabamians who outnumbered them 4-to-1.

The charge broke the Confederate ranks and stalled the Southerners long enough for Union reinforcements to arrive. The Union line was saved, but at a terrific cost. According to a regimental officer, of the 262 Minnesotans in the charge, only 47 escaped death or injury.



The 1st Minnesota Infantry Monument
marks the spot where the Union charge began. The bronze infantryman with fixed bayonet indicates the direction of the charge.

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0006000/07018_0010008929 (added ca. 2006)

More Info

Medium: Bronze
Artist: Jacob Fjelde
Related subjects:
Civil War
Location: Hancock Ave (Cemetery Ridge) Pennsylvania, Gettysburg

Nearest Metro: N/A () (click station name for all sculptures nearby)
Smithsonian American Art Museum's Art Inventories Catalog: Control number 77001112 (dcMem ID #7018 )

Links & other sources
Gettysburg National Military Park Map (ID #159 / F9)
Gettysburg: Stories of Men and Monuments (p81)
NPS website on Gettysburg
Wikipedia article on the Battle of Gettysburg
Wikipedia article on the 1st Minnesota Regiment
Wikipedia on the Civil War

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