Company G, 6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment - Company Flag
This color was presented in October 1862 by women of St. Paul to the “Young Men’s Guard,” a company of St. Paul recruits that composed Co. G. The reverse side of this unique flag has the words, “We Conquer or Die.”
The flag’s location was unknown for 20 years until it was discovered in the vaults of the Minnesota Historical Society in 1909. At that time, veterans of the company noted that the flag was carried in all their engagements during the war. If their memories were accurate, it was an uncommon practice. Early in the war, infantry companies often carried both their own and their regiment’s flags but confusion on the battlefield soon brought this practice to an end.
Shortly after recruitment in the summer of 1862, the Sixth Minnesota spent nearly two years in Minnesota. The regiment participated in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, including battles at Birch Coulee (September 1862) and Wood Lake (September 1862), before going south in June 1864. Surrounded by malaria-infested swamps at Helena, Arkansas, the Sixth was almost devastated by disease before joining four other Minnesota regiments in the Mobile Campaign (March-April 1865).