Sixth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

Noble & Cooley Civil War snare drum

The Sixth Minnesota Infantry spent nearly two years on the Minnesota frontier, participating in the battles of Birch Coulee (September 2-3, 1862), Wood Lake (September 22, 1862), and other campaigns against the Dakota, before finally 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 New Orleans-Mobile-Montgomery Expedition (February - April 1865).

The following manuscript collections are organized by military unit and alphabetized by the last name of the soldier. Each collection title is followed by the soldier's company and regiment number in parentheses, if applicable. Descriptions are brief and may be incomplete. Follow the links below to the Minnesota Historical Society's online catalog and finding aids for full descriptions.

  • 6th Minnesota Infantry Regiment, Company F Records, 1855 - 1887.
    Correspondence, muster rolls, quartermaster records and other papers.
  • 6th Minnesota Infantry Regiment, Quartermaster Accounts, 1862 - 1863. (B, 6th)
    Accounts of clothing issued to the company from August 1862 into early 1863.
  • George R. Adams Papers, 1862 - 1864. (D, 6th)
    Photocopies of Sergeant Adams’ letters and diaries, most dealing with the Regiment’s  experiences in Helena, Arkansas and losses from illness, as well as observations on African American troops and their relations with white civilians and soldiers.
  • Robert Knowles Boyd Papers, 1925 – 1930. (F, 6th)
    Manuscripts and maps by Boyd recounting his experiences, especially at Birch Coulee.
  • William R. Brown Papers, 1840 - 1972. (G, 6th)
    Copy of an 1863/1864 diary written at Fort Ridgely, where Brown worked as a nurse; at the Fort Snelling hospital; and in the South.
  • Henry Ladd Carver letter. (G, 6th)
    Letter of July 15, 1863 and typescript.
  • George E. Case and Family Papers, 1902 - 1927. (D, 6th)
    Collection includes an account of the 1863 "Moscow Expedition" from Fort Snelling to re-supply the Crow Creek Agency on the Missouri River.  
  • Jared Daniels Reminiscences, undated.
    Typescript and detailed reminiscences of Assistant Surgeon Daniels experiences in the  Dakota War and Sibley Expedition, including a graphic account of Birch Coulee.  
  • William F. Davidson and Family Papers, 1817 - 1919. (Henry Carver)
    Include several military orders relating to Regimental and District of Minnesota Quartermaster Henry Carver.
  • Hubert N. Eggleston Papers, 1862 - 1888. (F, 6th) 
    Corporal Eggleston’s diary covers dates from October through December, 1862, with descriptions of guarding Dakota Indian prisoners after the Battle of Wood Lake.
  • Edwin L. Fryer reminiscence [undated]. (G, 6th)
    Typescript reminiscence of an incident on September 21, 1862 near Wood Lake.
  • John K. Hoffman and Family Papers, 1856 - 1936. (Edward T. Hoffman, I, 6th)
    Approximately 30 letters from Fort Snelling, Helena, and a Little Rock hospital.  Another October 1864 letter from William Gresham  describes the Regiment’s status at Helena.
  • John Huftelen letter. (D, 6th)
    Letter of October 16, 1862 written at Camp Release.
  • Henry M. Huntington letter (D, 6th)
    Letter from Fort Ridgely dated September 9, 1862 describes the relief of troops at Birch Coulee.
  • Levi Longfellow Papers, 1865 - 1926. (B, 6th)
    Most items relate to Longfellow’s activities memorializing Civil War casualties.
  • John Nelson Papers, 1860 - 1866. (F, 6th)
    Three diaries and a few papers, October 1862 to July 1865, document the Regiment’s  service.  Includes Fort Snelling, guard and escort of Dakota prisoners in November 1862,  the Sibley Expedition, and 1865 service in Alabama.
  • Biographical data on John N. Pettibone, 1829 - 1864. (F, 6th)
    Typed copy of a diary kept between May 6 and September 12 of 1862 as well as 1864 letters from Captain Horace Wilson to Mary Pettibone concerning Pettibone's husband’s death.
  • Pond Family Papers, 1833 - 1970. (Allen Goodrich, D, 6th)
    The papers of two brothers who worked as missionaries among Dakota Indian communities in Minnesota include numerous Civil War letters from Private Goodrich.
  • Chesley Pratt and Family Papers, Undated and 1862, 1864.  (James Pratt, D, 6th)
    Include four 1864 letters from James to brother Chesley. 
  • Anna Seamans Correspondence, 1864 - 1865. (Charles Galpin, D, 6th)
    Includes a February 26, 1864 letter from Galpin.
  • Henry J. Snyder Letters, 1863 - 1865. (D, 6th)
    Corporal Snyder’s letters to his wife describe the Regiment's role in the U.S.-Dkota Dakota War of 1862 and its eventual transfer to Helena, Arkansas.
  • Charles H. Watson Letters, 1862 - 1865, 1913. (F, 6th)
    Collection of 114 letters from Watson, about half from Minnesota and half from southern  service, include descriptions of the hanging of Dakota prisoners at Mankato; conditions at Helena, Arkansas and illness among the troops stationed there; and the Regiment’s  campaigns in Louisiana and Alabama.
  • John Kingsley Wood Diary, 1862 - 1865. (F, 6th)
    Private Wood’s diary covers the Sibley Expedition; garrison duty at  Minnesota frontier forts; and the 1862/1863 Dakota internment camp at Fort Snelling. 

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