Manuscripts Collection

Civil and Dakota Wars


Minnesota sent eleven regiments, one battalion and two independent companies of sharpshooters into Federal service. The First Regiment gained the most notoriety for its exploits in the Army of the Potomac, however other Minnesota Regiments, all serving in "the West" also earned a high reputation. For example, the Second Regiment was well respected for its actions at the battles of Mill Springs and Chicamauga. The Fourth Regiment took part in the Siege of Vicksburg and the Battle of Nashville. The Ninth Regiment earned fame for a heroic rear-guard action after the Union defeat at Brice's Cross-roads. Typically these units were sent first to frontier posts in Minnesota before going South. With the exception of the First Regiment, First Battalion and the First and Second Companies of Sharpshooters, all served the Western theater.

Information about conducting Civil War research at the Minnesota Historical Society can also be found by reading the Civil War Research section.

First Battalion, Veteran Volunteers

First Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

Second Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

Third Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

Fourth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

Fifth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

Sixth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

Seventh Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

Eighth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

Ninth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

Tenth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

Eleventh Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

First Company of Minnesota Sharpshooters

Second Company of Minnesota Sharpshooters


Like most Minnesota troops, these units saw duty primarily in the Western theater of the war. The First and Second Batteries served under Grant and Sherman while the Third Battery took part in campaigns against the Dakota. The Regiment of Heavy Artillery was raised late in the war and saw limited service as occupation troops in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

First Battery of Light Artillery

Second Battery of Light Artillery

Third Battery Light Artillery

First Regiment Heavy Artillery


Most of these units were created in reaction to the Dakota Conflict and were used almost exclusively in campaigns against the Indians or patrolling the frontier.

First Regiment of Mounted Rangers

Second Regiment Minnesota Cavalry

Brackett's Battalion

Hatch's Battalion

National Archives

Cataloged with the more traditional manuscript collections are official U.S. Army and War Department records published on microfilm by the National Archives.

These are records of U.S. War Department activities primarily in Minnesota. Most deal with military posts in the state, most notably Fort Snelling, and much of the content is related to the Dakota Conflict and raising troops for Federal service.