Mower County in the Civil War
Rochester (Minn.) Post Bulletin 11/29/08


Mower County soldiers played role in Civil War

Post Bulletin - 11/29/2008

By Denise Farnsworth on Mower County's involvement in the Civil War, first published in August 2007.

A meeting was called by Ormanzo Allen, described in a 1953 Austin Herald article as "Austin's first law counselor," to organize Mower County soldiers to fight in the Civil War. Even though the five-year-old county had a population of less than 3,500, they decided to organize enough volunteers to form a company. The meeting was held on Sept. 4, 1861, at "Headquarters."

"Headquarters" was a multipurpose building in Austin used for a variety of public meetings as well as church services and other gatherings. The building was donated to the Mower County Historical Society and is still standing at the fairgrounds. It is open to visitors, so you can go stand inside the four walls where 32 men signed up to fight together in the Civil War more than 140 years ago.

(By the time the meeting was held, Minnesota's First Regiment, including Austin blacksmith and volunteer soldier Allen Mollison, had already fought in the first Battle of Bull Run.)

The Mower County Guards, Company K, Fourth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry officially formed on Oct. 15, 1861. The men left for Fort Snelling to join Minnesota's Fourth Regiment.

The Fourth Regiment left Fort Snelling in April 1862 and were assigned to the Army of the Mississippi. They fought in the siege of Corinth, Miss.; Iuka, Miss.; the battle of Corinth, Vicksburg, Miss.; Mission Ridge, Tenn.; Altoona, Ga., and marched with General Sherman through Georgia and the Carolinas at the war's end.

Webization by Kermit Kittleson, Nov. 29, 2008