Primary Source Material
on the Soldiers and the Battles
Home The Armies The Soldiers The Battles Civilians Articles
If this website has been useful to you, please consider making a Donation.

Your support will help keep this website free for everyone, and will allow us to do more research. Thank you for your support!

6th Minnesota Infantry
in the Civil War

Regimental History
Sixth Infantry. — Cols., William Crooks, John T. Averill; Lieut.-Cols., John T. Averill, Hiram P. Grant; Majs., Robert N. McLaren, Hiram S. Bailey. This regiment was organized at Fort Snelling in the summer of 1862. Capt. A. D. Nelson was first selected as colonel of the regiment, but as he was a West Pointer and had been in the service 23 years, the conditions placing him under a civilian. Col. H. H. Sibley, was not to his taste and he resigned, William Crooks being appointed in his stead. The regiment was mustered in by companies. Four companies were ordered to Fort Ridgely on receipt of the news of the Indian uprising and Lieut. -Col. Averill took command. Col. Crooks went to St. Peter to complete the organization of the regiment. Such force as was ready, including several companies of the 6th regiment and such civilians as would join, was started for Fort Ridgely. Co. A was detached as a burial party, 2 volunteers from each of the other companies assisting, together with a detachment of citizen cavalry. The burial party went into camp at Birch Coolie and was attacked by 500 Indians about 4 o'clock next morning. The engagement was brisk until 10 o'clock, when the Indians ceased faring. The attack was renewed and on the following morning Col. Sibley and Col. McPhaill came to the rescue, using artillery with good effect in driving away the Indians. Twenty-three were killed, 45 wounded, and all the horses (87) had been killed. The regiment was in the battle at Wood Lake, part being in reserve to defend the rear of the camp. Cos. A and F took position on a ridge overlooking a ravine in which many Indians were concealed and assisted materially in driving the enemy from the field with heavy loss. Cos. A, B, F and G were mustered in Oct. 1, C, Oct. 3, D Sept. 29, E, Oct. 5, H, Nov. 20, I, Oct. 4, K, Oct. 10, all at Camp Release except H, which was mustered in at Fort Snelling. A force of Indians opposed to Little Crow having surrendered, Cos. D and F were detailed to guard them to Yellow Medicine and Co. G formed part of a detachment sent out to scour the country. Later Cos. A, B, G, H and K were stationed at Fort Snelling; C, F and I at Glencoe; D at Forest City and E at Kingston. In February A, G and K were sent to Glencoe: B to Forest City; C, D, F and I to Fort Snelling; E to Clearwater and H to Kingston. In April the regiment assembled at Camp Pope. In June it marched towards Devil's Lake, reached Camp Atchison July 18, where a temporary camp was established and Cos. C and G were left as guard, with the sick and feeble in their care. The remainder of the regiment was in the engagements at Big Hills, Dak., Stony Lake and at the Missouri river where the enemy's camp equipage was captured and destroyed. The regiment returned to Fort Snelling Sept. 12, and was detached by companies for the winter of 1862- 63 to various points. Cos. D, E, and H were designated to accompany an expedition to Fort Thompson, where the captured Indians were to be located and supplies furnished. They reached the fort Dec. 2 and the return trip was made on half rations in bitter cold weather, through deep snow, the detachment reaching headquarters about Jan. 1, 1864. Capt. Whitney in command, was court martialed on a charge of disobedience of orders, preferred by Gen. Sully, because he declined to go into camp at Fort Randall, en route, but the captain was acquitted, being under Gen. Sibley's command at the time. After long and persistent efforts the regiment was ordered South. It left the state on June 14, 1863, and went to Helena, Ark., after having been assigned to the 1st brigade, 1st division, 2nd army corps. The reason for the change is not known, but it was a bitter disappointment to be compelled to take up garrison duty after endeavoring for two years to get to the front. The results of forcing a regiment from the extreme north to such a disease- producing climate and keeping it there inactive was seen too late. The regiment landed June 23, 940 strong, and on July 31, 17 officers and 445 men were on the sick list; a month later 14 officers and 487 men were sick; by the last of September 16 officers and 638 men reported sick; and during these three months 54 died of disease. So the record continued, the regiment diminishing in numbers as the ill were ordered north. At one time, for two weeks, but 26 men reported for duty, many being ill but not in hospital. Six hundred were sent north to hospitals and in October the regiment was ordered to St. Louis, where it performed provost guard duty from Nov. 11, 1864, to Jan. 29, 1865. It then was sent to New Orleans and in March to Chalmette, where it was assigned to the 2nd brigade, 2nd division, 16th army corps. It landed at Dauphin island on the 8th, was in sharp skirmishing about Fort Blakely, and with its corps captured the fort on the 9th, receiving high commendations for its conduct. It then moved to Montgomery, Ala., where it remained until July, and was mustered out at Fort Snelling Aug. 19, 1865.

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

Whats New
About Us

Copyright 2010 by
A Division of