Battle Flags of Minnesota.

Now On View

Visit the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda to view these flags now on display:

Second Minnesota Volunteer Cavalry Regiment – Regimental Flag (Civil War)

Organized in fall 1863, the 2nd Minnesota Volunteer Cavalry Regiment spent the winter of 1863-1864 on garrison duty at Minnesota frontier posts. In the summer of 1864, it joined the 8th Minnesota, the 3rd Battery Minnesota Light Artillery, and other volunteer regiments from Iowa and Nebraska in General Alfred Sully’s expedition against the Dakota and their allies west of the Missouri River.

The regiment was involved in encounters throughout Dakota Territory, including the Battle of Killdeer Mountain or Ta-Ha-Kouty (July 1864) the largest battle of the campaigns in the Dakota Territory. The expedition moved as far west as the Yellowstone River before returning to Minnesota in October 1864 for a year of garrison and patrol service at small frontier posts and Forts Wadsworth, Ridgley, Abercrombie, and Ripley. The regiment continued to serve until the summer of 1866, a year after the Civil War ended.

This standard has a painted Federal seal of an eagle with a ribbon in its beak that reads “E PLURIBUS UNUM” (“Out of Many, One”) in gold lettering. On the reverse side is a similar painted eagle that holds a ribbon that reads “2D. REGT. Minn. CAVALRY VOL.”

Fourth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment – National Flag (Civil War)

The narrow canton and pattern of the stars shows that this was issued by the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot, a commercial manufacturer of military equipment. This color may have been one of the last ones used by the regiment during the war.

The Fourth was formed in the fall of 1861. Following brief frontier duty in Minnesota, the regiment was engaged in the strategically important Mississippi battles of Iuka (September 1862), Corinth (October 1862), and Vicksburg (July 1863). It later participated in the Battle of Chattanooga (November 1863), Sherman’s “March to the Sea,” and the drive northward into the Carolinas (November 1864 – March 1865).

Tenth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment – Regimental Flag (Civil War)

Issued in early 1863, the flag bears 34 stars and was made for the regiment by the New York Quartermaster Depot. This is believed to be the only regimental flag carried by the Tenth. If that is the case, it would have been used by the regiment during it entire term of service.

Organized late in the summer of 1862, the Tenth Minnesota had a career that included service in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. It later joined other Minnesota regiments in the battles of Tupelo (July 1864), Nashville (December 1864), and in the Mobile Campaign (February – April 1865).

During the first day of the Battle of Nashville (December 15, 1864), the regiment charged the enemy's earthworks on a high hill and "after a severe struggle had the honor of first planting its colors upon his works and capturing two cannons and many prisoners."

Fifteenth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment – National Flag (Spanish-American War)

Organized about a month after the state's three National Guard regiments were federalized, the 15th Minnesota, U.S. Volunteer Infantry, like the 12th and 14th, was destined to stay stateside. Trained in Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Georgia before mustering out in March 1899, the 15th, like its counterparts, fought a constant battle with typhoid. Many of its members died from the disease while in the service.

While stationed in Georgia, one of the 15th's soldiers was killed in a bar room dispute. Others from the regiment, wanting to exact justice on the killer, pushed aside officers and took over the camp’s weapons and ammunition shed. The armed group then marched toward the town holding the prisoner. Before further violence occurred, officers rounded up the leaders and placed them under arrest. Several of the men were charged with mutiny and spent time in prison. In addition, a number of the 15th's officers were unfairly blamed for not stopping the mutiny.

While at Camp Ramsey, located on the Minnesota State Fair Grounds in St. Paul, Mary Hill, wife of James J. Hill, presented the 15th Minnesota with this flag on behalf of the St. Paul Commercial Club. Forty-five gold-leafed stars decorate the canton. One of the regiment's color bearers, Royal Stone, later served from 1923-1942 as an Associate Justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court.