9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment - National Flag
Beyond the red-and-white stripes, it is hard to know what this flag's canton would have looked like in 1863 when first used by the regiment. Barely visible are the letters "QUO SU," the remains of the Latin phrase, "QUO SURSUM VOLO VIDERE" which means, "I WANT TO SEE WHAT LIES BEYOND." Why the Minnesota territorial motto was used and what image was in the center a state seal, federal eagle or some other design is unknown. Based on its condition, this flag was carried in most of the engagements the regiment participated in from Guntown through Nashville.
Organized the summer of 1862, the Ninth fought in the U.S.-Dakota War and garrisoned military posts in southern Minnesota. The regiment was the last to leave the field at the Battle of Guntown (Brice's Crossroads) in June 1864 and formed the rear guard for the Union army losing many men as prisoners of war. More than 80 members of the Ninth died in the infamous Andersonville Prison. At Tupelo, Mississippi (July 1864), its brigade commander, Colonel Alexander Wilkin, was killed. He was the highest ranking officer from Minnesota to die in battle. A statue honoring Wilkin was placed on the second floor of the Capitol rotunda in 1910.
At the Battle of Nashville (December 1864), the Ninth along with three other Minnesota regiments participated in the attack on Shy's Hill which helped defeat the Confederate army. The Ninth ended it military service with the Mobile Campaign (March-April 1865)