Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Last Full Measure: The Life and Death of the First Minnesota Volunteers” as Want to Read:
The Last Full Measure: The Life and Death of the First Minnesota Volunteers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Last Full Measure: The Life and Death of the First Minnesota Volunteers

4.36  ·  Rating Details ·  616 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
The definitive history of the First Minnesota Regiment and one of a handful of classic regimental histories of the Civil War.
ebook, 368 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Minnesota Historical Society Press (first published March 1st 1993)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Last Full Measure, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Last Full Measure

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 07, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since I’ve left Minnesota for the corn-studded paradise known to Nebraskans as Nebraska, and to the rest of America as that place somewhere in the middle where everyone wears red and cares too much about college football, I have come to have a great appreciation for my home state and its rich past.

Sure, Nebraska has a fine history, if you care to poke around. At the far western end, there is Fort Robinson, where the last free bands of free Indians surrendered what remained of their broken cultu
Jeffrey Williams
I was really disappointed with this book, especially having read John Quinn Imholte's, "The First Volunteers" which was published by Ross & Haines in 1963. What Moe essentially did was steal all of Imholte's sources and rewrote the material. There was very little in the way of new sources and in certain areas he didn't go into depth enough like Imholte did.

Furthermore, the Minnesota Historical Society holds collections from other 1st Minnesota soldiers who shed further light to the day-to-d
Mar 23, 2011 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many Civil War histories claim to give the reader a taste of the war on the human scale, but few succeed, at least as accurately, as Richard Moe's "The Last Full Measure." Moe is a native Minnesotan, lawyer and historian. He has a strong feeling for the sacrifices made by the participants on both sides of the Civil War, which he admirably honored in his work of the last almost sixteen years as the head of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. During his tenure, he succeeded in many cause ...more
Michael Donohue
Focuses on individual soldiers, not particularly well written. good first hand accounts of action at Gettysburg
Sep 15, 2012 LNH rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
The book makes extensive use of the diaries and letters home written by the soliders--which was something I really liked. Reading their experiences in their own words conveyed the war, in all it's mundanity, irrational, courageous, dejecting nature, in a way that no standard expository history could. However, I think had the author done a few simple things, the book would have been much better. It followed so many of the soldiers that I found it hard to keep track of who was who and get a deep s ...more
Jan 12, 2008 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: civil-war
As the Ken Burns quote on the backcover says, this book is about the PEOPLE! The reader gets to really know individuals in the Regiment.

This isn't a book that tries to do too much - you merely experience the war along with the First Minnesotans. It isn't about generals or politicans or who did what when.

Richard Moe does a fabulous job.. as he states in his intro, he merely takes all the letters and testomonials and puts them together in a readable and exciting text. You will be amazed by the bra
Dec 17, 2008 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Very, very good. I was reading a general book about the Civil War (don't remember which one) and it mentioned what occured during the battle of Gettysburg when Gen. Hancock essentially sacrificed a Minnesota regiment to buy his line some time to be reinforced. The book didn't go into much detail, but I was interested to learn some more, so I did some research and found this book.

It was fascinating to follow a single regiment from its inception through the first 3 years of the Civil War. And havi
Jul 08, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up in the MSP airport. For years I have wanted to read about these unlikely heroes, farm boys and river workers from the small towns of Winona, Stillwater, Fairbeau, Wabasha, Red Wing, St. Paul and St Anthony Falls. This is the story of the 1st Minnesota Regiment, from their enrollment at Fort Snelling to their incredible valor at Gettysburg as dusk settled into night on July 2, 1863. It is difficult to grasp what motivated these young men, supported by their families in MN, t ...more
Jun 28, 2012 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a Minnesota native with a high interest in the Civil War time period, this was an excellent book. This book was an easier read than many non-fiction books, due in part to the way it followed several men and included excerpts from their diaries and letters. The most memorable part was also the hardest to read--the sacrifice of this unit during the battle of Gettysburg. This is something I had not learned before but something that will now stick with me.

Overall, I highly recommend this book a
George Nap
Aug 12, 2013 George Nap rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are going to read just one regimental history about a Civil War unit, this is it. I had read about the 1st Minnesota's sacrifice in another book and sought out more, finding this book. This is their story, pretty much told by them. Moe gives them voice. I have twice visited their memorial at Gettysburg since reading the book and each time can see them advancing across that field, trailing bodies as they storm towards massed Confederate battle flags. For me, a very worthwhile read.
Quinn Horvath
Sep 01, 2013 Quinn Horvath rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book that gives you a very personal, first hand account of First Minnesota from their inception through the first three years of the war. My only criticism is that portions between battles (much like real life) dragged and were a bit tedious. Highly recommended for Minnesota Civil War enthusiasts.
Phil Griffin
May 06, 2016 Phil Griffin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an incredible telling of the story of a group of boys/men who left Minnesota to protect the Union without any clue of what was in store for them or how they would play a central role in saving the nation. The words of the soldiers make up a great deal of the text and while not great writing the voices come through clearly. This should be required reading for any Minnesotan.
May 11, 2009 Cgapperi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book should be required reading form every Minnesota 10th grader during the study of American History. It is a tremendous look into the lives and struggles of the MN 1st during the early campaigns of the Civil War all the way through Gettysburg. Written with prose based on writings from the soldiers themselves, one cannot help but become attached to the characters along the way.
I enjoy reading non-fiction history books and this is about as good as it gets. You can almost smell the battlefield.
To read the soldiers diaries you wonder where they gather the strength to carry on. This is a great first person narrative of some of the great battlefields of the Civil War. May they rest in peace.
Aug 12, 2014 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-fest
Even when I looked at the stones at GEttysburg, it never struck me that the Minnesota men were so far from home. I never questioned what they felt about slavery and war. this book really opened my eyes even though I knew the stories of the civil war battles.
May 10, 2009 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-school
One of the best histories I've ever read. I recommend it to anyone interested even slightly in the US Civil War. Also for anyone who has an entirely impersonal view of war in general, this will change you.
Dec 10, 2014 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are many books that present letters written by soldiers' experiences. This well written book follows a group of people through the history of their 3-year experience as the First Minnesota Volunteers. The complete context of their experience gives their letters greater weight.
Skip Coale
Aug 20, 2009 Skip Coale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Regimental History from formation to final courageous charge on July 2, 1862 at Gettysburg
May 09, 2009 Lewis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a first rate history of the glorious First. From Bull Run to Gettysburg, this unit fought with pride and distinction.
Michael rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2011
Jack rated it really liked it
Jun 15, 2015
D rated it really liked it
Jun 01, 2014
Jafirman Torang
Jafirman Torang rated it liked it
Nov 05, 2012
Pj rated it liked it
Apr 12, 2014
Roland Stallings
Roland Stallings rated it it was amazing
Jan 30, 2013
Kevin Wilson
Kevin Wilson rated it it was amazing
Sep 21, 2014
Craig rated it it was amazing
Aug 17, 2012
Dorothy Reynolds
Dorothy Reynolds rated it it was amazing
Sep 03, 2012
Rangercab rated it really liked it
Sep 03, 2015
Andy rated it really liked it
Mar 28, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Hardtack and Coffee or, The Unwritten Story of Army Life
  • Chancellorsville 1863: The Souls of the Brave
  • Gettysburg--The Second Day
  • The Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier of the Union
  • To the Gates of Richmond: The Peninsula Campaign
  • Pickett's Charge
  • Stand Firm Ye Boys from Maine: The 20th Maine and the Gettysburg Campaign
  • In the Hands of Providence: Joshua L. Chamberlain and the American Civil War
  • The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command
  • Co. Aytch: A Confederate Memoir of the Civil War
  • The Army of the Potomac, 3 Vols
  • Fields of Honor: Pivotal Battles of the Civil War
  • Stars in Their Courses: The Gettysburg Campaign, June-July 1863
  • The Passing of Armies: An Account of the Final Campaign of the Army of the Potomac
  • Gettysburg: A Testing of Courage
  • The Class of 1846: From West Point to Appomattox: Stonewall Jackson, George McClellan, and Their Brothers
  • Soul of the Lion: A Biography of General Joshua L. Chamberlain
  • Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas

Share This Book