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I had no alternative but to order the regiment in. We had no force on hand to meet the sudden emergency. Troops had been ordered up and were coming on the run, but I saw that in some way five minutes must be gained or we were lost. It was fortunate that I found there so grand a body of men as the First Minnesota. I knew they must lose heavily and it caused me pain to give the order for them to advance, but I would have done it (even) if I had known every man would be killed. It was a sacrifice that must be made. The superb gallantry of those men saved our line from being broken. No soldiers on any field, in this or any other country, ever displayed grander heroism… Gen. W.S. Hancock

The last full measure : the life and death of the First Minnesota Volunteers    New York : Henry Holt, 1993 Richard Moe United States. Army. Minnesota Infantry Regiment, 1st (1861-1864) History Hardcover. 1st. ed., later printing. xvii, 345 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 335-338) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text.  VG/VG  

The First Minnesota Volunteers were among the earliest groups to volunteer for service during the Civil War. The unit was usually on the front line for every major battle and paid the extreme sacrifice, especially at the Battle of Gettysburg.

This is a portrait of the trials and tribulations of those volunteers during the first three years of the war. Moe uses the letters, diaries, and personal narratives of the unit’s soldiers to create an eyewitness account of battles from Bull Run to Gettysburg with the Army of the Potomac.

The author creates a graphic picture of the horrors and sufferings that were endured during battle as well as life in the camps between battles. This account will rank among the better regimental histories of the Civil War.


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