It will be remembered by those connected
with the military service that towards the end of
the late Civil War, there went through the camps and
barracks of the volunteer soldiers agents of publishing
houses busily engaged in procuring material for “company
histories,” and still more anxiously soliciting
subscriptions for the same. These histories were
mere broadsides or charts, giving the name and rank
of each man, with a few other personal facts, compiled
from the muster rolls, and in addition an abstract
of campaign movements, battles, and so forth; all
the information being brought up to date of subscription.
Of course as permanent and final records such publications
would be failures, there being no “next”
in which to “conclude” their stories.
While the Sixth Minnesota Infantry
Regiment lay at New Orleans, one of the visitations
described occurred to it (this being a very successful
one), and thereupon a member of Company E proposed
to a comrade the getting up of something of the kind
among themselves, to be of home manufacture.
Time permitting, the work was then commenced, continued
in the field, and kept up with current events till
the order for return home of the command to which
the company belonged. Serious illness of the
compiler, and the scattering of the members of the
company, prevented the finishing of the work at the
intended time, and caused its indefinite postponement.
As a contribution, though humble,
to material for some future history of the part taken
by Minnesota in the war for the Union this little
book has been completed and published, and the writer
would be greatly pleased if its appearance should
stimulate the necessary research for the putting on
record in somewhat similar form of the histories of
other companies of our state regiments.
Alfred J. Hill.
St. Paul, Minn., 1869.