Fifth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

US Army officer's Model 1858 uniform hat

Organized in winter 1861-62, three companies of the Fifth Minnesota Infantry were stationed in Minnesota frontier military posts when the U.S.-Dakota War began in August 1862.  The Fifth Minnesota was heavily engaged at Corinth (October 1862), Vicksburg (July 1863), in the Red River Expedition (March-May 1864), Tupelo (July 1864), Nashville (December 1864), and 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.

  • 5th Minnesota Infantry Regiment, Company B, Daily Record of the Guard Mount and Countersign at Fort Ridgely, May - September, 1862.
     This post guard book lists offers notes made immediately before the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, with no entries for the days following the battle at Fort Ridgely.
  • William Arkins and Family Papers, 1862 - 1951. (A, 5th)
    Letters from Lieutenant William Arkins and brother Sergeant John Arkins to brother Thomas. Also an 1862 and an 1863 diary kept by William.
  • Charles F. Lipke, Record of Co. E, 5th Minn. Vet. Vol. Infty, [ca. 1878].
    Biographically descriptive book containing information on 115 members, including physical descriptions, birthplaces, and occupations.  A few entries include postwar occupations, residences, and dates of death.
  • Judson Wade Bishop and Family Papers, 1819 - 1973, 1949. (John Bishop, B, 5th)
    Lieutenant Bishop’s 1895 reminiscences and some military papers cover service in Minnesota and the south.  John was Colonel Judson Bishop’s brother.
  • Charles W. Bachmann and Family Papers, 1854 - 1912. (D, 5th)
    Includes a letter in German from the 1865 siege of Spanish Fort.
  • Quartermaster Records of Captain Norman K. Culver, 1862-1865. (B, K, 5th)
    Quartermaster and commissary papers from the Fort Ridgely garrison (1862 and early 1863), material related to Culver’s later service in the South, and 1890s records concerning commemoration of the Fort Ridgely battles.
  • Gold T. Curtis and Family Papers, 1842 - 1901. (K, 5th)
    Papers and diaries document Lieutenant Curtis’ career before the Civil War.  Later entries cover his military service, including the Battle of Holly Springs, Mississippi. Curtis died of dysentery on July 24, 1862. 
  • Jerome Farnsworth and Family Papers, 1861 - 1902. (Marvin Farnsworth, F, 5th)
    Two undated letters from Marvin, whose brother served in the First Minnesota until his death at Gettysburg.
  • J. Fletcher Williams Papers, 1849 - 1894. (Alpheus Robert French) 
    Williams’ papers include an 1890 biography of French, a drillmaster with two sons in the Regiment.  Regimental Adjutant Lieutenant French had served in the regular army between 1830 and 1848, with much of his time spent on the upper Mississippi.
  • William B. and Thomas P. Gere Papers, 1847 - 1911.
    Reports and correspondence of Lt. Colonel William B. Gere plus journals of Adjutant Thomas P. Gere who also served with the Second Brigade, First Division, 16th Corps.  Thomas won the Congressional Medal of Honor at the Battle of Nashville.
  • Henry N. Herrick and Family Papers, 1851 - 1956.
    Collection includes over 100 letters dated March 1864 through May 1864 from Chaplain Herrick to his wife Anna, as well as his diary and some of Anna’s letters. The letters describe Army life and include information on the Freedman’s Bureau and early Reconstruction in Alabama.
  • Lucius F. Hubbard and Family Papers, 1842 - 1875, 1956. 
    Around 40 letters of Colonel Hubbard, who commanded the Regiment from August 1862 to September 1865. Written to his aunt, Mary Hubbard, these letters describe the Regiment’s actions and commentary on army life and politics.  
  • The John Ireland Collection, 1867 - 1962.
    Research compiled by Sister Helen Angela Hurley includes a paper on Chaplain Ireland's service.  The collection (call number P427) can be viewed in the
    Gale Family Library at the Minnesota History Center.
  • William H. Leonard and Family Papers, 1843 - 1955.
    Papers include reminiscences of Leonard’s service as Regimental surgeon and a morning reports book of the sick and wounded from September 1863 to September 1865.
  • Narrative of the Sioux Indian Massacre in 1862, 1909 (Orlando McFall, E, 5th)
    Handwritten account of the company’s service at the Upper Sioux Agency, its return to Fort Ridgely, and an account of the battles there.
  • William B. McGrorty and Family Papers, 1851 - 1915.
    Includes around 75 letters from Quartermaster Lieutenant McGrorty to his wife and children.
  • Timothy J. Sheehan Papers, 1857 - 1913. (C, F, 5th)
    Collection of miscellaneous official papers related to Captain Sheehan.
  • William A. Van Slyke Papers, 1862 - 1910, 1955. (G, 5th)
    Papers relating to Lieutenant Van Slyke's recruiting efforts in St. Paul.
  • J. Fletcher Williams Papers, 1849 - 1894 (Benjamin A. Duncan Young, G, 5th)
    Williams' papers include biographical notes on Corporal Young, a mixed blood scout.

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