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The Last Full Measure: The Life and Death of the First Minnesota Volunteers

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  • Posted January 17, 2014

    The story from the soldiers perspective

    The use of diaries an letters home seamlessly entwined with traditional historical accounts bring the story of the First Minnesota to live in vivid detail.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2001

    A Historical Gem

    Richard Moe's detailed biography of the 1st Minnesota Volunteers is an absolute masterpiece of writing. His book provides a thorough yet lively account of the history of the first regiment formed to preserve the Union from the state of Minnesota.<P> The writing is clear and to the point, and he does not cloud the story with too many details not directly related to the 1st Minnesota.<P> For instance, he describes the battle of Fredericksburg in very general overview terms as regards the objective of the campaign and the rationale for its planning. He does not, however, stray too far from the main point being the 1st Minnesota's involvement at Fredericksburg, and that type of focus is not easy to find in combat unit histories.<P> My only question regarding the content is in the chapter describing the route of march for the 1st Minn. <B>prior</B> to the Battle of Sharpsburg (later to be called 'Bloody Antietam'). On pg. 178 he states, <i>'...The regiment crossed over South Mountain, passed through Boonesborough, and bivoucked that night near Shephardstown'</i>. In a subsequent passage a Minnesota trooper stated that the following morning, <i>'we marched through Keedysville, and halted on high ground overlooking the Antietam'</i>.<P> How could the 1st Minnesota camp near Shephardstown, which would have put them between Lee's army and the Potomac, southwest of Sharpsburg, before the battle opened? Keedysville is northeast of Sharpsburg between Antietam Creek and Boonesborough. To camp at Shephardstown would have put them astride Lee's line of withdrawal (a dangerous position for one regiment to be in to oppose the entire Army of Northern Virginia), and would make for a long march to return to Keedysville to participate in the battle the next day.<P> Beyond this confusion, I found the book very, very enlightening and a pure joy to devour.

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    Posted March 19, 2011

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    Posted December 11, 2010

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    Posted February 17, 2011

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