Third Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

US Army officer's boots

Organized in the fall of 1861, the Third Minnesota Infantry was surrendered in July 1862 at Murfreesboro. Under the terms of parole, several companies returned to Minnesota and fought in the Battle of Wood Lake during the U.S.-Dakota War (September – December 1862).  The regiment then returned south to build fortifications that lead to the surrender of Vicksburg (July 1863), and also played a central role in the occupation and wartime governance of Little Rock (1863-65).

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 Reference Library's online catalog and finding aids for full descriptions.

  • C. C. Andrews and Family Papers, 1843 - 1930. (I, 3rd)
    Correspondence and diaries of Captain, later General Andrews, plus some items from John Sanborn.
  • Barrick Family Civil War Materials, Undated, 1861 - 1863, 1998. (Jesse and Isaac Barrick, B, 3rd)
    Three 1862 and 1863 letters plus compiled biographical information. Jesse won the Congressional Medal of Honor for the capture of two guerilla officers.
  • James M. Bowler and Family Papers, 1827 - 1976. (F, 3rd)
    Captain Bowler’s letters to his wife and hers to him document the unit on the Minnesota frontier and in the South.  Bowler was promoted major of the 113th U.S. Colored Infantry in 1865.
  • J. W. Boxell Civil War Letters and Related Papers, 1846 - 1996. (B, 3rd)
    Photocopies and transcripts of November 1861 to September 1862 letters, many from a hospital, plus related papers.
  • George W. Brookins and family letters, 1861 - 1865. (George, I, 3rd)
    Original and edited typescript letters from October 1861 through November 1864 describe surrender at Murfreesboro, participation in the Battle of Wood Lake, the Siege of Vicksburg and Little Rock.
  • Ezra T. Champlin, Dakota Conflict of 1862 Manuscript Collections, 1862 - 1962. (D, 3rd)
    Include an account by Champlin read at an 1886 regimental reunion titled “My Recollection of the Battle of Wood Lake and the Part Taken in it by the 3rd Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Infantry September 23, 1862”, also published in reunion proceedings.
  • Claude E. Simmonds, George Davies, Wright County Pioneer, March 20, 1946. (A, 3rd)
    Typed biographical sketch of English immigrant Davies.
  • Benjamin Densmore and Family Papers, 1797 - 1955.
    Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant Densmore’s 1863 diary contains entries covering Camp Pope. Densmore was later commissioned lieutenant colonel of the 4th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery.
  • Henry A. Durand and Family Papers, 1855 - 1928. (B, 3rd)
    Records include quarterly returns of Company B prepared by Sergeant, later Second Lieutenant, Durand, and a letter describing the attack on Fort Ridgely during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.
  • James Liberty Fisk and Family Papers, 1836 - 1968. (B, 3rd)
    Photocopy and typescript letters and diaries of Private, later Captain, Fisk dealing with his detached duty escorting wagon trains into the Dakotas and Montana.
  • W. H. C. Folsom and Family Papers, 1836 - [195-]. (Philander E. Folsom, K, 3rd)
    Includes around a dozen letters of Sergeant, later Lieutenant, Philander Folsom.
  • Reminiscences of Chauncey Griggs Regarding Service in the Civil War, 1886.
    Short reminiscences of Colonel Griggs’ service, with details of the battle of Murfreesboro (July 1862); Griggs' appointment as Colonel (December 1862); and his resignation due to poor health (July 1863).
  • William D. Hale and Family Papers, 1819 - 1914. (E, 3rd)
    Letters of Sergeant, later Sergeant Major, Hale, who was eventually commissioned major of the 4th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery.  Collection includes information on Murfreesboro surrender and African American troops.
  • Charles Marples and Family Correspondence, 1857 - 1868, 1931. (recruit, 3rd)
    Several letters written from Fort Snelling in 1865 contain advice to his family on farm management.
  • Hans Mattson and Family Papers, 1855 - 1990. (D, 3rd)
    Includes around 155 letters, many in Swedish, from this prominent immigrant who commanded the Scandinavian Guard (Company D) and later the Regiment.
  • Diary of N. C. Parker, 1863.
    Quartermaster Sergeant Parker documents the Regiment’s 1863 activities until his December return to Minnesota.
  • Andrew Peterson, Musical Scores of Bugle Calls [1861 - 1864], 1879. (B, 3rd)
    Manuscript book of bugle call scores used in the Regiment.
  • Chesley Pratt and Family Papers, undated and 1862, 1864. (Jay Pratt, A, 3rd)
    Letter from Jay Pratt to brother Chesley dated August 26, 1864.
  • Carl Roos and Family Papers, 1848 - 1974. (D, 3rd)
    1861 - 1863 diaries, in Swedish, of this immigrant and oldest man in the Regiment who was discharged for disability in December of 1863.
  • James Schwieger Letter, January 24, 1862. (E, 3rd)
    The letter written from Belmont, Kentucky discusses soldiers in several Minnesota units.
  • Walter Trenerry Papers, 1860 - 1963. (Henry Lester)
    Research correspondence concerning the life of Colonel Henry Clay Lester.
  • Jesse A. and Luman P. Washburn Letters, 1862 - 1864. (Jesse A. Washburn, E, 3rd)
    1862 and 1863 letters with biographical information.
  • Abraham Edwards Welch and Family Papers, 1830 - 1879.
    Photocopied and transcribed letters to family members. Major Welch commanded the enlisted men of the Regiment in the Dakota War until he was wounded at Wood Lake. He served with the Fourth Regiment until his death in 1864.

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