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Fourth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

US Army officer's spurs

Formed in the fall of 1861 and following brief frontier duty in Minnesota, the Fourth Minnesota Infantry was engaged in the strategically important Mississippi battles of Iuka (September 1862), Corinth (1862), and Vicksburg (July 1863).  It later participated in the Battle of Chattanooga (November 1863), the “March to the Sea” (November – December 1864), and the Carolinas Campaign (January – March 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.

  • 4th Minnesota Infantry, Company K record book, 1862 - 1866[?].
    This final record of Company K lists all members of the company, specifying their names, ages at enlistment, dates of enlistment and discharge, home addresses, and occupations.
  • Levi B. Aldrich Papers, 1853 - 1896. (I, 4th)
    Several diaries of Sergeant Aldrich, a former farmer and carpenter who served from October 1861 until his transfer to the Pioneer Corps in December 1862.  Diaries 9 and 10 document his time with the Regiment.
  • Peter Daniel Anderson letters, 1864 - 1865. (A, 4th)
    Letters written by a Swedish immigrant documenting his service during Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign.
  • John Battin and Family Papers, 1862 - 1941. (Richard Battin, C, 4th)
    Letter of July 13, 1862 describes action around Corinth.
  • Luther L. Baxter and Family Papers, 1853 - 1950. (A, 4th)
    Captain Baxter served from October 4, 1861 to April 18, 1862 and was later lieutenant colonel of the First Minnesota Heavy Artillery. Collection includes correspondence from other officers and men, reports, muster rolls, and quarterly returns for the company.
  • John N. Bradford Letter, July 3 - 4, 1863. (B, 4th)
    Letter to his wife from Vicksburg just prior to the surrender.
  • John P. Bradford Papers, 1862 – 1864, 1928-1978. (John N. Bradford, B, 4th)
    Typescript manuscript Reaching Back: Fifty Years in the Life of John Nice Bradford and 27 letters dated 1862 through 1864 from Private Bradford to his wife.
  • Fourth Minnesota Infantrymen's letters, 1904 - 1905. (Calvin R. Fix, A, 4th)
    Veterans’ responses to detailed questionnaires about the Regiment’s entry into Vicksburg.  
  • Knud Helling Letters and Photographs, 1862 - 1868. (H, 4th)
    Letters in Norwegian from Private, Sergeant, and finally Second Lieutenant Helling.
  • John K. Hoffman and Family Papers, 1856 - 1936. (Bellfield C. and Edward T. Hoffman, H, 4th)
    Includes an 1862 diary and approximately 20 letters exchanged by the Hoffmans until Bellfield's death at Vicksburg in 1863. Some letters offer Fort Snelling content while others concern Bellfield's death.  A September 1864 letter from Jesse Bean describes the Regiment’s status at Altoona.
  • Henry A. House Civil War Diary, 1862 - 1865. (F, 4th)
    Brief entries from April 1862 through June 1865 document the Regiment’s marches, camp activities, and engagements.
  • Ira N. Morrill Diary, 1864 - 1865. (K, 4th)
    Diary covers June 1864 to January 1864, including the Battle of Altoona, Sherman's March to the Sea, and Morrill's duties as company clerk.
  • Isaac W. Muzzy Papers, 1856 - 1866. (H, 4th)
    Collection includes two 1864 letters to his wife.
  • Sewell G. Randall Diary, 1864. (I, 4th)
    Diary kept by Private, later Corporal, Randall from January 1, 1864 until his death from wounds received at the Battle of Altoona on October 5, 1864.
  • Richard S. Reeves Papers, 1861 - 1865, 1897. (F, 4th)
    Three volumes of Corporal Reeves’ diaries dated November 16, 1861 to July 17, 1865. The collection also includes information on the Battle of Altoona.
  • John E. Risedorph Papers, 1862 - 1911. (E, 4th)
    Diaries and 27 letters to Corporal Risedorph’s mother contain information on Iuka Campaign, Corinth and Altoona Pass.
  • George Sly Diary and Letter, 1862 - 1864, 1901. (A, 4th)
    Drummer boy’s diary covering May 1862 to 1864.
  • Newton Southworth and Family Papers, 1852 - 1917. (Eli Southworth, A, 4th)
    Collection includes letters from September 1861 through November 1862 as well as letters of other family members documenting civilian activities and attitudes toward the war. A letter dated October 16, 1862 describes conditions in a hospital at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri.
  • Harrington and Merrill Family Papers, 1732 - 1963. (Timothy Harrison Pendergast) 
    Includes Civil War-era correspondence; Pendergast, a relative, served at Chickamauga.
  • Civil War Papers of Joseph H. Volk, 1864 - 1865. (C, 4th)
    Photocopied 1865 diary by this late 1864 recruit describes the Regiment’s activities in the Carolinas.
  • John T. Hoblit Civil War Diary and Related Papers, 1861 - 1862. (Orison Washburn, C, 4th)
    Washburn’s 1862 letter is from Benton Barracks, Missouri.
  • Abraham Edwards Welch and Family Papers, 1830 - 1879.
    Photocopied and transcribed letters to family members and other documents cover his varied service until his death at Nashville in 1864.
  • John Young Papers, 1862 - 1864. (A, 4th)
    An 1863 diary with brief entries and nine letters to his wife.

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