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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

News Review
News Advisory: Minnesota Civil War Sesquicentennial Day and "Blue Book" Dedication
Posted Date: 5/17/2011

OFFICE OF THE MINNESOTA SECRETARY OF STATE

*** NEWS ADVISORY ***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Pat Turgeon
651-201-1332

Minnesota Civil War Sesquicentennial Day
2011-2012
Legislative Manual “Blue Book” Dedication
at Minnesota State Capitol on May 18

WHAT: Civil War Sesquicentennial Day and 2011-2012 Minnesota Legislative Manual "Blue Book" Dedication to be held at the Minnesota State Capitol on Wednesday, May 18, 2011.

2011-2012 Minnesota Legislative Manual "Blue Book" Dedication program at noon in Capitol Rotunda. Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie will act as Master of Ceremonies for the noon program in the rotunda. Governor Mark Dayton, Former Governor Albert Quie, Dr. William Green, Representative Dean Urdahl, and Adjutant General Richard Nash are scheduled to speak during the program.

A group picture to commemorate 150th Anniversary of the Civil War will be taken in front of the Capitol at approximately 1:00 p.m. Tom Tipton will close the program by singing Julia Ward Howe’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” (Please see editor’s note about song choice.)

Civil War Sesquicentennial Event from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Minnesota State Capitol. Event includes: Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul H. Anderson, dressed in period costume, presenting a historical presentation in the court chambers; Civil War Capitol tours; Re-enactors; and a Civil War Information Fair in the Great Hall.

Three Civil War cannons presented to the famous First Minnesota Infantry Regiment will be brought together for the first time in decades for one day only at the Minnesota State Capitol. Two of the cannons will be on display in the Capitol Rotunda and one will be located in front of the Capitol on the upper mall. (Please see editor’s note for more information about the cannons.)

WHEN: Wednesday, May 18, 2011

- Civil War Sesquicentennial Day events are scheduled from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
- Minnesota Legislative Manual “Blue Book” dedication program begins at noon in the Capitol Rotunda.
- A group picture to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War will be taken at 1:00 p.m. by the 
  Civil War cannon located on the upper Capitol Mall.

WHERE: Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN

Editor’s note: Please find the following additional background information.

First Minnesota Civil War Cannons

After being separated for decades, three Civil War cannons presented to the famous First Minnesota Infantry Regiment will be brought together for one day only at the Minnesota State Capitol courtesy of the Minnesota National Guard. The muzzle-loading steel cannons were presented as gifts to the First Minnesota Infantry Regiment in 1862 by Major-General A.H. Sanford, the American Ambassador to Belgium.

Major-General Sanford who had visited our state, read about the First Minnesota’s bravery at the battles of Bull Run and Balls Bluff, and contributed to the cause of the Union by donating the cannons. Each cannon is inscribed on the breech with the words, “To the First Minnesota Regiment Volunteers Tribute to Patriotism and Valor-Brussels, 1861.”

Intended for the First Minnesota, the regiment never took actual possession of the guns, because the army refused to allow an infantry regiment to have its own artillery. The three cannons were placed in storage and later shipped to Minnesota. They were kept by the State and over the years separated. One gun was kept at Camp Ripley, one in Mankato and one in Montevideo, MN.

Made in Brussels then shipped to New York via Liverpool, England in April 1862, these cannons are unusual for their compact size and rifled steel barrels. The cannons have a 6-inch rifled bore. Most cannons manufactured during the Civil War Era were produced with smooth bores.

Julia Ward Howe and the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”

A prominent abolitionist, social activist and poet, Howe was inspired to write the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” after she met President Abraham Lincoln during a visit to the White House in November 1861. After the visit, a friend suggested Howe write new lyrics for the popular song “John Brown’s Body.” On November 19, 1861, Howe penned the words to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and it quickly became one of the most popular songs of the North during the war.

Civil War Capitol Tours

Will be available at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and at 1 p.m.

Civil War Information Fair

A Civil War Information Fair will provide information on future Civil War Sesquicentennial events and educational opportunities. Civil War

re-enactors will be on hand to interact with the public and to explain what it was like to be a soldier during that period of history. The fair will be held in the Great Hall of the Capitol and will include the following organizations:

B-is for Battle Cry: Civil War Alphabet Book, authors and illustrators
Boys of '61
Brooklyn Historical Society
Cannon Valley Civil War Roundtable
Friends of Wasioja-Civil War Days
Minnesota's Heritage
Minnesota History Theater
Minnesota Military Museum
Minnesota Territorial Pioneers
Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs
Quicksteps Vintage Baseball Club
Second Minnesota Battery of Light Artillery
Robert Richardson's Historic Flag Display
St. Croix Valley Civil War Roundtable
Twin Cities Civil War Roundtable
Victri Village

Additional information about this event including a flyer, the Gubernatorial Proclamation and parking information is available at: www.sos.state.mn.us

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