Ramsey County History Summer 2023 – Honoring Minnesota First Regiment
Volume 58, Number 2: Summer 2023
Growing Up at Fort Snelling
Honoring the First Regiment of Minnesota Volunteer Infantry for Fifty Years
Author: John H. Guthmann
When seventeen-year-old John Guthmann took at summer job as a tour guide at Fort Snelling, little did he know that he’d get “hooked on history” and become one of the earliest members of the First Regiment of Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. The purpose of the newly formed nonprofit composed of a stockbroker, minister, exterminator, entomologist, law enforcement, and others was to “commemorate and perpetuate the memory” of the first First Minnesota—the nation’s initial regiment that responded to President Abraham Lincoln’s call for troops following the fall of Fort Sumter in 1861. As reenactors, they also hoped to “educate the public, and have fun.” Over fifty years, the group has practiced endless drills, “fought” at historic Civil War battlefields, served as extras for multiple Civil War-themed Hollywood movies, and worked to portray the original First Minnesota as accurately as possible—down to the food, uniforms, and weapons. Read about it here, or check out www.firstminnesota.org or future events.
Article Supplement – First Minnesota Photos