Civil War monument to Minnesota soldiers dedicated in Nashville

A monument to Minnesota Civil War soldiers who died in the Battle of Nashville — Dec. 15-16, 1864 — was dedicated Sunday on a Tennessee hillside.

A group of 40 Minnesotans, led by Rep. Dean Urdahl, co-chair of the Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force, went to Nashville for the ceremony. It was one of many events in the state’s 150th Civil War anniversary.

Historians from Tennessee describe part of the battle:

 The 10th Minnesota Regiment, surging up the northeast side of the hill on the left end of the Union advance, was exposed to flanking fire and was hit hard.  As the First advanced half way up the hill, McArthur sent the Second Brigade, with the 9th Minnesota on the right and the 5th Minnesota on the left. Its commander, Col. Lucius F. Hubbard, had two horses shot from under him and sustained a minie ball wound to the neck as the unit crossed a muddy corn field moving southwest.  With their line exposed to enfilading fire, they sustained significant casualties including four 5th Minnesota color bearers who were shot down in the charge.

The Nashville battle, where 87 Minnesotans died, is considered the last major battle of the war, but the battlefield hasn’t been preserved like some others, including Gettysburg (where Minnesotans also played a major role).

One of the graphic Civil War paintings that hangs in the Minnesota State Capitol depicts the Battle of Nashville: Howard Pyle’s painting shows the Minnesotans charge.

The new monument sits on a wooded area of Shy’s Hill.

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