Eighth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

US Army officer's pin

Organized in the summer of 1862, the Eighth Minnesota Infantry was immediately engaged in the U.S.-Dakota Wars. The Eighth Minnesota spent two years (1862-64) at frontier outposts and on military expeditions in Minnesota and the Dakota Territory before heading south and aiding in the victory at Murfreesboro (December 1864).  It eventually joined with Gen. William T. Sherman’s army in North Carolina (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.

  • Leonard Aldrich Papers, 1862 - 1866, 1903. (F, 8th)
    Eleven letters from Captain Aldrich include information on the Regiment’s activities during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 and campaigns in Tennessee and North Carolina.
  • A. H. Bertram, Reminiscence and Incidents of Company E, 8th Minn. Vol. Inf., December 7, 1878. (E, 8th)
    1870s manuscript poem of detailed anecdotes from enlistment and into the 1863 Sibley Expedition.
  • George W. Brookins and Family Letters, 1861 - 1865. (Harvey S. Brookins, E, 8th)
    Original and edited typescript letters from 1861 to 1865 cover family matters and the Regiment’s service in Minnesota, the Dakotas, and the South.
  • Benjamin Wetherill Brunson and Family Papers, undated and 1850 - 1898. (K, 8th)
    Records documenting an early (1847) St. Paul, Minnesota settler, 8th Minnesota officer, and state legislator.
  • John Busch Letter, June 9, 1864. (K, 8th)
    Letter and typescript from camp at Wood Lake.
  • George T. Cambell Family Papers, 1857 - c. 1890. (F, 8th)
    Colorful and frequently humorous reminiscences of Private Campbell.
  • Thomas Cheetham and Family Papers, 1855 - 1866. (A, 8th) 
    Four transcribed letters discuss the Regiment's activities and Cheetham’s concern for his family’s welfare.
  • Gardner B. Colwell Diary and Certificate, May 8, 1864 - July 20, 1865; 1898. (F, 8th)
    Photocopied diary deals primarily with service on the frontier.
  • Charles E. Davison and Family Papers, 1852 - 1864. (James, F, 8th)
    Includes letter mentioning military action near Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
  • The Diaries of George W. Doud, September 14, 1862 - October 15, 1864. (F, 8th) 
    Typescripts of three diaries covering September 1862 to October 1864 document Doud’s experiences in graphic and sometimes humorous detail.
  • J. Fletcher Williams Papers, 1840 - 1894. (Charles Genung, H, 8th) 
    s' papers include biographical notes on Genung, a soldier with long regular army service on the upper Mississippi..
  • Adams Hair Letters, 1863. (D, 8th)
    Four letters written while stationed at the frontier fort at Pomme de Terre.  
  • William H. Houlton and Family Papers, 1792 - 1914. (E, 8th)
    Varied collection includes a recruiting letter, minutes of meeting to elect officers, war tax receipts, and numerous letters to Houlton from Minnesotans serving in other units including the U.S. Colored Infantry.
  • William and Herbert Paist Papers, 1849 - 1932. (H, 8th)
    Collection includes detailed letters of Captain William Paist, touching on Fort Snelling and the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.
  • Report from Chaplain, Dakota Conflict of 1862 Manuscripts Collections, 1862 - 1962.
    Report on the Regiment’s moral condition at Fort Snelling in May 1864 by Chaplain Loren Armsby.
  • W. E. Seelye Narrative, Dakota Conflict of 1862 Manuscripts Collections, 1862 - 1962,. (A, 8th)
    Typescript reminiscences of service in Minnesota and on the Northwestern Indian Expedition.
  • Aaron M. Sidwell, Dakota Conflict of 1862 Manuscripts Collections, 1862 - 1962,. (F, 8th)
    Notebook with history of and selections from “The Soldiers’ Gazette,” published by Company F at Fort Ripley in 1863.
  • William Silvis, Dakota Conflict of 1862 Manuscripts Collections, 1862 - 1962. (I, 8th)
    Typescript June 1 to November 4, 1864 diary details Captain Silvis’ experiences on the Northwestern Indian Expedition.
  • John Henry Strong, Journal on the Northwestern Indian Expedition under General Sully, 1864 - 65, Dakota Conflict of 1862 Manuscripts Collections, 1862 - 1962. (A, 8th)
    Diary from May to November 1864 including a typed transcript as well as a May 1865 letter from Nashville.
  • Edson D. Washburn Diaries, 1863 - 1865.  (E, 8th)
    Three diaries kept by Corporal Washburn while serving in Minnesota; on the Sully Northwestern Indian Expedition; and in Tennessee and North Carolina.

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