Riverside Cemetery in Medford

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Made available to The Steele Co. genealogy pages by: Ron Houghtelin
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Buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Medford lies a Civil War Hero


The inscription reads:
George P Sawyer fell at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
July 21863 age 24 Post 81GAR

The inscription at Gettysburg at the site of the Battlefield reads
Regiment With A Reputation

As the Union line reeled back on July 2 - 262 men of the 1st Minnesota charged Confederates advancing over the low ground ahead, and saved the day. They suffered 82 percent casualties - ­believed to be the highest regimental loss in any battle, in proportion to the number engaged, in modern history.

On the afternoon of July 2 1863, Sickles third corps having advanced from this line to the Emmitsburg Road. Eight Companies of the First Minnesota Regiment, numbering 262 men, were sent to this place to support a Battery upon Sickles repulse. As his men were passing here in confused retreat, two Confederate Brigades in pursuit were crossing the swale. To gain time to bring up reserves and save this position. Gen Hancock in person ordered the eight Companies to charge the rapidly advancing enemy. The order was instantly repeated by Col Colvill and the charge as instantly -made down the slope at full speed through the concentrated fire of the two Brigades breaking with the bayonet the enemy's front line as it was crossing the small brook in the low ground. There the remnant of the eight companies nearly surrounded by the enemy, held it's entire force at bay for a considerable time and till it retired on the approach of the reserve. The charge successfully accomplished its object. It saved this position and probably the battlefield. The loss of the eight companies in the charge was 215 killed and wounded, more than 83 percent, 47 men were still in line and no man missing. In self sacrificing desperate valor, this charge has no parallel in any war. Among the severely wounded were Col Wm Colvill, Lt Col Charles P Adams, and Major Mark W Downie. Among the killed Capt Joseph Periah, Capt Louis Muller, and Lt Waldo Farrah. The next day, the regiment participated in repelling "Pickets Charge" losing 17 more men killed and wounded.

First Regiment Minnesota Vol's -1st Brigade - 2nd Div - 2nd Corps

                         April 29 1861-- May 4 1864

served at:
Bull Run - Balls Bluff - Berryville - York Town - West Point - Hanover Court House - Fair Oaks - Peach Orchard - Savage Station White Oak Swamp - Glendale - Halvem Hill - 2nd Halvern Hill - Vienna - South Mountain - Antietam - Charlestown - Ashbys Gap - Fredricksburg - Marye's Heights - Haymarket Gettysburg - Auburn - Bristow Station - Mine Run and numerous skirmishes

Submitted Ron Houghtelin Owatonna Minnesota Feb 6 2003.