Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The Boys of ’61 memorial May 9, 2011

ON AUGUST 21, 1862, he was mustered into the Seventh Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, Company K. He was 34 years old. He was my great great grandfather, John Dallmann.

More than two years later, he was among seven men from his company wounded in the Battle of Nashville. The battle represented one of the Union Army’s largest victories during the Civil War. Two soldiers from Company K were killed in that December 15-16, 1864, conflict.

Remarks written in the Company K roster, published in Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars 1861-1865, under the supervision of The Board of Commissioners appointed by the act of the Minnesota legislature in 1889, state that Dahlman (the roster spelling) was “Wounded at Nashville; discharged in hospital in ’65.”

Other than that basic information, I know nothing of my great great grandfather’s military service.

He was among some 24,000 Minnesotans who marched off to war 150 years (or so) ago. Some came home; many died on battlefields or of disease.

My great great grandfather, John Dallmann (seated in the front row) was wounded on December 16, 1864, at the Battle of Nashville. My great grandmother, Anna Dallmann Bode is standing in the center in the back row, between her siblings, Minna, left to right, Carl, Herman and Hulda.

On this the sesquicentennial of our nation’s bloodiest war, plans are in place to construct a memorial honoring “all Minnesota citizens who served and fought to preserve Minnesota and the Union between 1861 and 1866,” according to the Minnesota Boys of ’61 nonprofit corporation.

A one-acre site south of the State Capitol in Summit Park has been selected for the state-wide memorial, current location of a monument to Josiah King, the first Minnesotan to volunteer for the Union.

Design plans call for granite monuments recognizing each Minnesota regiment, battery, battalion or independent organization encircling a full-scale bronze infantryman, calvaryman and civilian volunteer. Artillery pieces will flank each side of the memorial.

Efforts are currently underway to raise $750,000 for the project, which will be funded entirely by private donations.

For Minnesotans, this monument offers an opportunity to honor a soldier-ancestor on a state-wide level. Contributions made payable to “Minnesota Boys of ’61 Memorial” should be sent to:

Minnesota Boys of ’61 Memorial

1524 East Cliff Road

Burnsville, MN. 55337

A “Wall of Honor” will recognize donors at various levels, beginning with patriot donors who give a minimum $150. Contributors may choose to be recognized by personal or business name or may honor an ancestor.

Those who donate over $1,000 in money or in-kind services will also receive a signed, limited edition print of Minnesota Iron, the official Boys of ’61 print by Minnesota artist David Geister.

My great great grandfather's name is listed on the Veterans Wall of Honor in Bella Vista, Arkansas, where my two maternal aunts and their husbands live.

FYI: Log on to boysof61.org for more information about the Minnesota memorial and how you can donate.

Click here to read about the Arkansas memorial.

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Family photo courtesy of Dorothy Bowman

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10 Responses to “The Boys of ’61 memorial”

  1. Mark Ritchie Says:

    Great post! There will be a lot of folks from the Boys of 61 Memorial group and many others interested in the Civil War at the special ceremony at the State Capitol on May 18th, noon. Tours and lots of other activities will go from 10-2 throughout the Capitol – come one, come all. For more info check out http://www.sos.state.mn.us

    Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thanks for passing along the info about the May 18 event at the Capitol. I expect it will be well attended given the high level of interest in the Civil War.

  2. dorothy Says:

    Great post! I also wonder why John Dallmann our ancester enrolled in the Civil War. I think maybe he was given land for his time put in. It was during the time Minn. was becoming a place to live for new immigrants.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Does anyone out there know whether new immigrants in Minnesota were given land if they served in the Civil War?

      • alice alme Says:

        My great-grandfather Henry Mergel was in the Seventh Regiment Company I and enlisted August 15, 1862. He served with the Army in the Indian Uprising and the Civil War. He fought in many battles but the Battle of Nashville was the largest.
        He came from Germany with his parents in 1852 and they settled in Sauk Rapids in 1854.
        Immigrant Soldiers were treated the same as natural born citizens. Any time spent in the army was deleted from the five year prove up time for homesteading. For example; if they served in the army for five years they automatically were given 160 acres of land upon request.
        I have written a book that will be coming out in July about Henry and his family pioneering in MN and his service in the army from 1862-1865.
        Watch for this.
        Alice Mergel Alme

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        Alice, thanks so much for the information on homesteading in Minnesota as it relates to Civil War service. I did not know this.

        What is the title of your soon-to-be published book and who is publishing it?

        I sometimes review books here and also review books for Minnesota Moments magazine.

  3. Bernie Says:

    This is interesting. I never really paid attention to Minnesota’s part in the war until your blog.
    How interesting for you to have family that fought in the war.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I think we always become more interested in history when a personal connection exists. With this, the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I’m certain I will learn a lot more.

  4. kyle dallmann Says:

    John Dallmann was my great great great grandfather, does anyone have relation to Donald Dallmann? That would be my Grandfather.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Kyle, I can check with my Aunt Dorothy, who is into family history. Or if anyone can answer Kyle’s question about Donald Dallmann, please submit a comment here.


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