Thursday, July 21, 2016

On This Date in Minnesota History: July 21

July 21, 1861 – Battle of Bull Run
“The First Minn. fell in at 2 a.m. and started marching four hours later. The regiment was ordered to support Rickett’s Battery in an attack on Henry House Hill. Companies ‘A’ and ‘F’ led the attack, and were separated from the regiment to the right of the battery by the confusion in deploying the guns. Colonel German ordered the men to hold fire on the attacking 33rd Virginia because he thought they were Yankees. Rickett’s battery was lost and recaptured several times before finally falling to the rebels. Javan Irvine, a civilian attached to Co. ‘A,’ captured the Lt. Col. of the 2nd Mississippi, the highest ranking Confederate taken that day. Sgt. John Merritt of Co. ‘K’ was awarded the Medal of Honor for taking brief possession of a rebel flag. After discovering that they were isolated, Lt. Col Miller ordered the two companies to retreat. The regiment then covered the western flank of the Union retreat.

Sgt. John Merritt*

“The First Minnesota was one of the last regiments to leave the battlefield, and suffered the highest casualties of any northern regiment: 48 killed, 83 wounded, 23 wounded and missing, and 30 missing (the number of missing taken prisoner is uncertain – most returned to the unit).”


If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records.  Both short searches and family history reports.

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