1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment - National Flag (Gettysburg)
Only a portion of the pole sleeve and small pieces of silk along the edge of the canton remain of this significant flag from the Civil War.
Carried at the Battle of Gettysburg during the regiment’s charge at Cemetery Ridge on July 2, 1863, and in the middle of the fight at Pickett’s Charge the next day, most of the flag was shredded from shot and shell after two days of fighting. The remnants of the tattered color were probably cut off as souvenirs by members of the regiment after the war.
In each engagement from Bull Run to the Peninsula Campaign (May-June 1862) to Antietam and Fredericksburg, the First Minnesota solidified its reputation as one of the finest regiments in the Army of the Potomac. Its charge at Gettysburg (July1863), one of most heralded of the Civil War, played a pivotal role in the Union victory, but came at a cost of more than 80 percent casualties.