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2nd Minnesota Infantry
in the Civil War

Regimental History
Second Infantry. — Cols., H. P. VanCleve, James George, Judson W. Bishop; Lieut. -Cols., Alexander Wilkin, Calvin S. Uline; Majs., Simeon Smith, John B. Davis, John Moulton. This regiment was organized at Fort Snelling in June, July and Aug., 1861, and was mustered in by companies as organized. Co. A was ordered to Fort Ripley for garrison duty July 3, and was followed by Co. F, a few days later. B and C were ordered to Fort Abercrombie and D and E to Fort Ridgely. Maj. Smith having been appointed paymaster in the regular army, Capt. Alexander Wilkin, of the 1st Minn. infantry, was appointed to succeed him in the regiment. The companies were recalled from the garrisons in September and left the state Oct. 14, under orders to report at Washington, but on reaching Pittsburg the regiment was directed to go to Louisville. From there it was sent to Lebanon Junction for guard and picket duty and in December was assigned to the 3d brigade, 1st division, Army of the Ohio, Gen. George H. Thomas commanding. On Jan. 1, 1862, it moved to Lebanon, where it joined the Mill Springs campaign and was engaged in an almost hand-to-hand fight with a regiment of the enemy at that battle, driving it back in confusion and later taking possession of its tents and camp equipage, of which the 2nd stood in need. Returning to Louisville, it moved towards Shiloh and reached there April 9, too late to participate in the battle. It pursued the retreating Confederates and was in camp at Corinth until June 22. Thence it went to Iuka Springs and Tuscumbia, encamped for a month, then proceeded to Winchester, Pelham gap, Murfreesboro and Nashville. On Sept. 14 it started for Louisville, which place was reached on the 26th, and in October it was at the head of the column in pursuit of the retiring enemy, in a constant skirmish with the latter's rear-guard. It was in reserve at the battle of Perryville; was then on short expeditions and guard duty at various points until Nov. 25; then in camp near Gallatin, Tenn., until Jan. 29. 1863, and at Battle's farm until March 2. It participated in brushes with the enemy near Triune, and in June four companies were engaged in keeping a body of the enemy's cavalry from cutting up the rear of the column. It assisted in driving the enemy out of Hoover's gap and on July 1 drove his picket line through Tullahoma. It occupied Winchester from July 18 to Aug. 16; was under fire at Chickamauga, assisted in the repulse of Breckenridge's division, and stood with Thomas in the heroic defense of Horseshoe ridge. Its loss in this engagement was 162 in killed and wounded. It was in the trenches about Chattanooga for two months, captured the first breastworks at Missionary ridge, and was in the assault which carried the crest. In the battle the 2nd lost over 21 per cent, while that of the other regiments in the brigade was 8 per cent. The regiment was specially mentioned in the official report for the "gallant manner in which it carried the rifle-pits at the foot of the ridge." On Dec. 25, about four-fifths of the regiment reenlisted, being among the first in the Army of the Cumberland to do so, and on Jan. 8, 1864, the reenlisted men were furloughed home. They returned in March, joined the brigade at Ringgold, Ga., and the regiment took part in the Atlanta campaign. It was engaged in guard, garrison and picket duty, light skirmishing, maneuvering and intrenching at various points, until the battle of Jonesboro. It moved from Atlanta in November, marched to Savannah, thence north through the Carolinas, skirmishing as it went, participated in grand review at Washington, and was mustered out at Louisville, July 10, 1865.

Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 4

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