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

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  425 ratings  ·  18 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)
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Jason Krogman
Great story of the First Minnesota Volunteers and their battles through the Civil War.
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
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.
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.
Quinn Horvath
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.
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.
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.
This book is a first rate history of the glorious First. From Bull Run to Gettysburg, this unit fought with pride and distinction.
Skip Coale
Excellent Regimental History from formation to final courageous charge on July 2, 1862 at Gettysburg
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