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Saturday, July 2, 2016

On this day in 1863

If you have never been to the Gettysburg Battlefield I strongly encourage the trip.

On this day in 1863, the 1st Minnesota saved the Battle of Gettysburg to help make a union victory. The Confederates were about to cut the Union line in half. The 1st Minnesota was ordered to take the colors of the attacking Confederates. The Union commanders needed five minutes to bring up reinforcements, the 1st Minnesota gave him 10. Without any hesitation, 257 Minnesotans charged the oncoming 1,300 - 1,500 Alabamans. The 1st MN suffered an 82% casualty rate. It is the highest casualty rate of any U.S. military command in combat. I believe that is still true to this day. of the 257 Minnesotans that took the field that day, 215 were killed or wounded, 42 were still in line at the end of the day.
The following day what was left of the 1st Minnesota was on the front line for Picketts charge. The 1st Minnesota captured a Confederate battle flag that day and that flag is still at the MN Historical Society.  Several groups of Virginians have threatened to sue to get the battle flag back, but the flag still remains in Minnesota.
1st Minnesota monument at Gettysburg National Battlefield
 Please read about the first Minnesota: