The Battle of Birch Coulee, September 2–3, 1862

The Battle of Birch Coulee, fought between September 2 and 3, 1862, was the worst defeat the United States suffered and the Dakotas' most successful engagement during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. Over thirty hours, approximately 200 Dakota soldiers pinned down a Union force of 150 newly recruited U.S. volunteers, militia, and civilians from the area, holding them until Henry Sibley's main army arrived.

MN90: Minnesota's Civil War Mettle

MN90 producer Marisa Helms describes the creation of the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment in 1861 and highlights its actions at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. Includes an interview with Matthew Cassady of Historic Fort Snelling.

First Minnesota monument at Gettysburg

First Minnesota monument at Gettysburg

First Minnesota monument at Gettysburg, c.1945. Erected by the State of Minnesota on the spot near Cemetery Ridge where on July 2, 1863, the regiment held the Union line against advancing Confederate soldiers.

Survivors of the First Minnesota at Gettysburg

Survivors of the First Minnesota at Gettysburg

Survivors of the First Minnesota at Gettysburg, c.1913. Photographer: W. H. Tipton.

Battle flag of the Twenty-Eighth Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Battle flag of the Twenty-Eighth Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment

The Army of Northern Virginia Confederate battle flag of the Twenty-Eighth Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Captured by Private Marshall Sherman of St. Paul while serving with the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company C, during Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863.

Battle flag of the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Battle flag of the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment

A regimental battle flag of the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment, presented to the regiment by Governor Alexander Ramsey in April 1863.

Portrait of Henry D. O'Brien, First Lieutenant, First Battalion, Minnesota Infantry Volunteers

Henry D. O'Brien, First Lieutenant, First Battalion, Minnesota Infantry Volunteers

Henry D. O'Brien, First Lieutenant, First Battalion, Minnesota Infantry Volunteers, 1864. Photographer: Fredricks and Company.

Officers of the First Minnesota Volunteers at Camp Stone

Officers of the First Minnesota Volunteers at Camp Stone

Captain Mark Downie (seated) and officers of Compnay B, First Minnesota Volunteers at Camp Stone near Edwards Ferry, Virginia, March 16, 1862. Photographer: Matthew B. Brady.

First Minnesota officer's hat insignia

First Minnesota officer's hat insignia

First Minnesota officer's hat insignia, c.1861. Worn by William H. Dike of the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company G.

Blue wool "nine-button" Civil War frock coat

Blue wool "nine-button" Civil War frock coat

Blue wool "nine-button" frock coat worn by First Sergeant Mathew Marvin during the Civil War. Marvin served with the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, 1861-1864.

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