Battle Flags of Minnesota.

Now On View

Visit the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda to view these flags now on display:

1st Battalion Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment - Regimental Flag (Civil War)

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.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment - National Flag (Civil War)

The 7th Minnesota moved south after a year’s service fighting in the U.S.-Dakota wars. It saw hard action at Tupelo (July 1864) and Nashville (December 1864) and took part in the final expedition to New Orleans-Mobile-Montgomery (February – April 1865). Like many Civil War regiments, the 7th suffered greatly from the climate, lack of equipment, and illness. William Marshall, the regiment’s colonel from 1863-1865, was elected the fifth governor of Minnesota in 1866.

At the Battle of Nashville, the 7th Regiment’s colorguard received special mention in the official battle reports, “cool and intrepid, they pushed steadily on through the terrific charges made upon the enemy, unmoved by the ‘leaden rain and iron hail’ which fell thickly around them, mindful only of the honorable duty of bearing the colors erect in the van of the fight.”

Painted on the lowest white stripe of the color is “Spanish Fort”, which identifies this as the final flag used by the 7th Minnesota during the Civil War. This battle east of Mobile, Alabama was one of the last of the war, in April 1865.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment - Regimental Flag (Civil War)

This color was manufactured by Horstmann Brothers, a Philadelphia military goods supplier. Since there are only 34 stars above the Federal eagle it was probably made in the first half of 1863 (before West Virginia became the 35th state). Unlike most of the state's regimental flags, the ribbon on this one was never marked with the regiment's designation. Because it is in good condition, it might have been used at the end of the war or kept in storage.

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).

13th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment - National Flag (Spanish-American War)

This 45-star silk flag and a regimental color were presented to the Thirteenth Minnesota on June 25, 1898, by the Custer Circle G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) from Minneapolis, while the regiment was stationed at Camp Merritt in San Francisco, California.

One of four Minnesota regiments organized to fight in the Spanish-American War in 1898, the Thirteenth Minnesota was the only one to see combat. Sent to the Philippines, it participated in the battle outside of Manila on August 13, 1898, served as a military police unit after the city surrendered, and for the next eight months campaigned against Filipino soldiers seeking independence for their country in the Philippine-American War. In October 1899, the regiment returned to St. Paul and Minneapolis, where it was greeted by thousands of onlookers and reviewed by President William McKinley and Governor John Lind.