The 1st Minnesota Regiment led the charge into the Battle of Gettysburg exactly 150 years ago Tuesday.
The anniversary observed with a patriotic concert at Mankato's Lincoln Park honors that legacy.
Of the 1st Minnesota Regiment's 262 men, 215 were lost in that charge, but those soldiers' success led to a turning point in the Civil War. It's something all Minnesotans can be proud of.
Civil War Historian Bryce Stenzel says, "Minnesota was the first state to offer its troops in defense of our nation. When you consider Minnesota had only been a state since 1858. The war broke out in 1861, we're only a few years old as a state. Most of our citizens had been born somewhere else, many of them had been foreign-born. The question arises why did they care so much about preserving this nation, but it was their adopted country."
Mankato's Lincoln Park is the site for a Civil War memorial dating back to 1893. The Boy in Blue Memorial Committee formed two years ago and is in the process of restoring a statue by the same name that represents every soldier.