Minnesota Sharpshooters

Sharpshooter's Spencer carbine

Two independent companies were raised in Minnesota to be part of Berdan’s United States Sharpshooters.  The First Company of Minnesota Sharpshooters became Company A of the Second Regiment of United States Sharpshooters and served with them in the Army of the Potomac.  The Second Company of Minnesota Sharpshooters became Company L of the First Regiment of United States Sharpshooters, but was soon detached and transferred as Company L of the First Minnesota Infantry.  Company L participated in most of the First Minnesota's actions until the regiment was mustered out in early 1864.

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 name, company, and regiment 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.

First Company of Minnesota Sharpshooters

  • 2nd Regiment U.S. Army Sharpshooters, Company A Records, 1861 - 1865.
    Orders, lists of officers and noncommissioned officers, morning reports and registers for Company A of the 1st Company of Minnesota Sharpshooters.
  • Owen Evans Letters, 1862 - 1863.
    Three letters from Captain Evans to his daughter in Anoka between March and May 1862 describe the Peninsular Campaign and Fredericksburg battles.
  • Anna Seamans Correspondence, 1864 - 1865. (William H. Stacy)
    Includes three hospital letters from Stacy who transferred from the Sharpshooters to Company A, 1st Minnesota Infantry Battalion.

Second Company of Minnesota Sharpshooters

  • Josiah B. Chaney and Family Papers, 1792 - 1917.
    Includes detailed letters to his wife Melissa, written February - October 1862, describing camp life, army morale, and Peninsular Campaign battles.
  • Joseph C. Dickey and Family Papers, 1860 - 1935.
    Letters to family members describe camp life and battles, particularly Antietam, where Dickey was wounded.
  • G. Merill Dwelle and Family Papers, 1843 - 1896.
    Dwelle’s letters from December 1861 - February 1863 describe the Company’s formation, training, and campaigns, from the Peninsula Campaign through Antietam.  Includes accounts of his wounding at Antietam, subsequent recovery, and training with the Third Battery.
  • Charles D. Strong Papers, 1862 - 1865.
    Letter dated April 28, 1862 from Washington and a partial Company roster.

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