Civil War“If war comes, I’m going!” exclaimed Halvor Quie after reading Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. One-hundred-fifty years ago, young men from the Northfield area committed life and limb to a cause greater than themselves. The Civil War pitted Americans against each other in a war so brutal that the affects continue on to date – from our standing army and international rules of war to insidious regional stereotypes that continue to fester. The stories of the Union soldiers who came from and returned to the Northfield area provide a glimpse into the bravery and fortitude of those who fought.

These men served in wide-ranging capacities – from soldiers and officers to musicians and surgeons. They volunteered for service, many joining the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment – the first volunteers to commit to the cause. Our young men battled sickness, fatigue, and, yes, lead. From fighting on after disabling wounds to treating newly freed and escaped slaves, stories of individual distinction abound.

With the help of resident student of the Civil War Jim Stark, Northfield Historical Society staff, the Rice County Historical Society and volunteers have pulled together a few stories and artifacts about area residents who served, along with some unique and impressive artifacts. The Northfield Historical Society makes these stories and artifacts available to the public in their exhibit opening August 22 at 6:00 p.m., “If war comes, I’m going!”

Exhibit Title: If War Comes, I’m going! Northfield and the Civil War
When: August 22 @ 6:00 p.m.
Where: Northfield Historical Society, 408 Division Street.
Contact: 507-645-9268,