1ST MINNESOTA COMPANY F "SHARPSHOOTERS"
The 2nd Minnesota Sharpshooters Company or Company L of the 1st Minnesota Infantry Regiment was a unit of the Union Army during the American Civil War. One of 18 companies of sharpshooters placed under the command of Colonel Hiram Berdan; the companies would eventually form two regiments who shared the nickname of “Berdan’s Sharpshooters.”
2nd MINNESOTA SHARPSHOOTERS AT ANTIETAM
The next major engagement for the unit came at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862. A tactical blunder exposed the regiment's flanks at a position known as “the West Woods.” As a result, the opposing Confederates under the command of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson released a three-sided torrent of fire against the men of Company L. The walls of lead cut down roughly half the men of the company resulting in a casualty list which included four of the eight Northfielders. Following the Confederate withdrawal from Maryland, the 1st Minnesota Infantry played minor roles in the Battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville in the winter of 1862 and the spring of 1863. However, the unit's greatest test would come in General Robert E. Lee’s second invasion of the North, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
THE 2ND MINNESOTA AT GETTYSBURG
As Lee's Army of Northern Virginia invaded Pennsylvania, George G. Meade, newly appointed commander of the Army of the Potomac quickly followed in order to prevent any assault on Philadelphia or Washington. When the two armies collided at Gettysburg, Company L and the rest of the 1st Minnesota Infantry was assigned to Major General Winfield Scott Hancock’s II Corps. The regiment did not engage until the second day of the battle when Company L detached as skirmishers and the balance of the force made the 1st Minnesota Infantry's famous charge which prevented Confederate forces from splitting the Union center. The entire 1st Minnesota Infantry helped to repulse Pickett's Charge on the third day of the battle and secure a Union victory.