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Brackett's Battalion

Brackett's Battalion

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Minnesota Cavalry in the Civil War and Dakota War

Author Kurt D. Bergemann

Minnesota Historical Society Press (February 9, 2004)

Amidst the chaos of a two-front war—one against the Confederacy and the other against the Dakota Indians—Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry transformed from raw recruits into seasoned and battle-hardened troops and served longer than any other Minnesota unit in the Civil War.


After two years in the Southern theater of the Civil War, Brackett’s Battalion became part of the Northwestern Indian Expedition of 1864 and rode into Dakota Territory to seek out and engage the Indians in response to the attacks on settlers in Minnesota. On July 28, 1864, during a decisive battle against a large Dakota contingent at Killdeer Mountain, Brackett’s men conducted a remarkable three-mile-long saber charge that resulted in vicious hand-to-hand combat and eventually turned the tide of the battle.

Told through the extant journals, diaries, and letters of the troopers themselves,Brackett’s Battalion brings to light a long neglected aspect of Minnesota’s role in the Civil War and reveals a side of the conflict rarely portrayed in the war’s literature.

Author information

Kurt D. Bergemann has long been a student of the Civil War. This book is a result of his research on his great-great-grandfather, who served in Brackett’s Battalion.

Reviews and news

Praise for Brackett’s Battalion

“The Minnesota cavalrymen of Brackett’s Battalion fought against the Confederates in the South and in the bloody battles against the Dakota. This is an important and first-rate book of a story long obscured.”
Lance J. Herdegen, author of The Men Stood Like Iron: How the Iron Brigade Won Its Name

  • 214 pages
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873514774

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