1st Battalion Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment - Regimental Flag
The battalion, originally consisting of Companies A and B, was formed in May 1864. The unit included re-enlisted soldiers from the recently disbanded 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment and new recruits. The battalion saw action in the assault on Petersburg (June 1864), Deep Bottom (July 1864), Ream’s Station (August 1864), Hatcher’s Run (October 1864), and in the final Confederate surrender at Appomattox (April 1865). Companies C to I, organized during the winter and early spring of 1865, were ordered to northern Virginia, but arrived too late to take part in military operations.
While at Hatcher’s Run in 1865, the unit was forgotten on the skirmish line after the rest of the Second Corps withdrew from the battlefield. Fearing they would be overrun, members of the 1st Battalion tore their national flag into pieces and distributed them throughout the unit so that the flag could not be captured by the enemy. This blue regimental color was spared the same fate by being concealed under the color bearer’s uniform and returned safely with the rest of the battalion to the Union lines.