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Archive for June, 2012

“Slavery Prohibited in the Territories,” “From the Shenandoah,” and “The News,” Mankato Independent – June 30, 1862

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

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Railway Post Office practice and examination kit

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Railway Post Office practice and examination kit

Railway Post Office (RPO) practice and examination kit used by St. Paul postman Richard Loida between 1946 and 1956.  Loida frequently worked on RPO cars headed from St. Paul to Duluth, North Dakota and South Dakota.  The kit’s main element is a hinged wood case that opens to reveal a rack with approximately 88 slots in each side.  Included are cardboard cards that bear the name of a Minnesota post office.  The rack is a miniature version of the slot system used on RPO cars; slots are labeled with Minnesota railroad junctions and destinations.

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Photograph of sick and wounded including members of the 1st MN at Savage’s Station, Virginia – June 29, 1862

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Photograph of the sick and wounded, including members of the 1st Minnesota Regiment, at Savage’s Station, Virginia, following the battle. The Battle of Savage Station was the fourth of the Seven Days Battles, and ended in a stalemate.  During the battle, Union forces sustained over 1,000 casualties and afterward left 2,500 previously wounded soldiers to be captured when their field hospital was evacuated.  The 1st Minnesota was one of ten Union regiments engaged at Savage Station.

Title:  Sick and wounded (including First Minnesota) at Savage’s Station, Virginia.
Location no. E425.11 r14

More Civil War items can be found in Collection Online.

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Ho-Chunk moccasin game

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Ho-Chunk moccasin game

Moccasin game made by Daniel White Eagle circa 1971.   The game pieces consist of a stick, four animal hides on felt, a shooter, a pouch with sticks (used for scoring), a drum and a beater.  Traditionally, the game is played by Ho-Chunk men while spectators look on.

For details, view the game in our online collections database.

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“Latest News by Telegraph,” and “Army Correspondence,” Shakopee Argus – June 28, 1862

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

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Sverre Hanssen painting

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Sverre Hanssen painting

Collection Minnesota Historical Society. Lent by the Fine Arts Collection, Public Buildings Service, U.S. General Services Administration. Gift of the Ah-Gwah-Ching Archive.

Oil on canvas painting of a train yard painted by Sverre Hanssen in 1936.  Hanssen was commissioned to complete the work by the Works Progress Administration.

To see more artworks produced during the Great Depression, visit the exhibition 1934: A New Deal for Artists, on view at the Minnesota History Center through September 30, 2012.

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“Gorman’s Camp Shelled,” and “Terrible Casualty,” St. Paul Pioneer and Democrat – June 27, 1862

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012


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Victorian men’s shoes

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Victorian men's shoes

Pair of late nineteenth men’s leather shoes with side buckle for everyday wear.   The mark of the St. Paul shoemaker Gotzian is stamped on each sole.

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Report on condition of soldiers in Tennessee and Mississippi – June 26, 1862

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

A report from J. P. Owens to Governor Ramsey on the condition of Minnesota soldiers in Tennessee and Mississippi.

“St. Paul, June 26th, 1862.
To his Excellency, Alex. Ramsey, Governor of the State of Minnesota:
Sir, IN accordance with your request made in a letter dated at the Executive Department of the State, on the 6th day of May ult., I have, since that time, visited all the military organizations of Minnesota now on duty in the States of Tennessee and Mississippi.
I left St. Paul on the 7th ult.; and after attending to necessary private business on the way, arrived at Cincinnati on the 13th.  I immediately put myself in communication with the Cincinnati branch of the United States Sanitary Commission, in order to ascertain whether there was any of our sick soldiers in the hospitals located in that city and vicinity.  Every facility was afforded me in the most kind and courteous manner. I visited all the hospitals in the city, five in number, and found that what few of our sick had been sent there after the irregularity and confusion necessarily incident to the battle of Shiloh, had become well, and had been discharged and sent home.  I also ascertained from enquiry at official quarters, that none of our sick were at the neighbouring hospitals of Covington, Kentucky, and Camp Dennison.
Through the kindness of Quartermaster General Wright and Surgeon General Webber, of Ohio, I was tendered a pass from Cincinnati to Pillsbury Landing on the Steamer Tycoon, a boat chartered by the State to carry home sick and wounded soldiers of the Ohio army.  On board of her I left Cincinnati; on Friday, May 16th, at eleven o’clock P.M., and without any incident worthy of especial note in this place, arrived at Pillsbury Landing on Monday, the 19th at eight P.M.
Here I was very happy to learn that our old friend, Dr. Chas. McDougall, long stationed in years past as post Surgeon at Fort Snelling, had a short time previous been assigned as Chief Medical Director to the Department of the West, with head quarters at Pillsbury Landing. The next morning after my arrival I visited him at his headquarters, where I found him not only willing to give me all the information in his possession in regard to the health of the Army, but also to furnish me facilities of the first class for passing anywhere I wished within the lines.  Although Dr. Mc Dougall had been but two weeks in the administration of affairs at Pillsbury Landing when I arrived, I was assured by those who ought to and undoubtedly did know, that there was a very marked change for the better in the sanitary condition of the Army.  His long experience with troops at the various posts on the Western frontier, and his thorough knowledge of Western diseases, rendered him probably the most befitting Surgeon in the service for the post he now holds.
In mentioning that it was your desire that our soldiers, disabled from whatever cause, should be conveyed to the hospitals at St. Louis, or others as near home as possible, Dr. McDougall assured me that your wishes had been already anticipated so far as any of our sick had gone forward. They had been since the commencement of his administration, and will continue to be, sent to St. Louis, Quincy, Keokuk, and other places on the Mississippi and in no case would any be sent to Cairo or any of the hospitals on the Ohio river.
On Wednesday, the 21st, through the kindness of Major A. B. Brackett of our cavalry, who had heard of my arrival at the Landing, a horse was sent in for me, and on that evening I arrived among the camps of the Grand Army of the West.  Major Brackett and his battalion I found immediately attached to General Halleck’s headquarters, having been specially detailed by the General as a telegraph guard for the whole army – a just compliment to the efficiency of a Minnesota officer and the officers and men of his command. As here were greater facilities for getting about and for procuring information of all kinds than as any other place within my reach, I freely accepted Major Brackett’s invitation to make his camp my headquarters during my stay.
Only one company of the Minnesota Cavalry was at the time serving in Major B’s battalion, that of Capt. West.  The other Minnesota Company of the battalion, Captain Shelley’s, was on the same duty between Fort Henry and Smithland, Kentucky.  I regretted to find Captain West himself absent in Wisconsin on sick leave, but the health of his company was most excellent.  [...]“


Citation:  June 26, 1862 Letter from J. P. Owens, Letters Received–Sick and Wounded. Minnesota: Governor: Ramsey. Records. Minnesota Historical Society. State Archives. Minnesota Historical Society.

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Hamm’s Brewery kettle door

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Hamm's Brewery kettle door

Copper door from a brew kettle at the Stroh (formerly Hamm) Brewing Company in St. Paul, Minnesota.  The door is etched with the words, “Theo. Hamm/Brewing Co./St. Paul/Minnesota/1947.”

For details, view the door in our online collections database.

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An Ounce of Preservation: A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs