Our regimental commander & historian:

Col. Judson Bishop


Our actual historic flag


The original regiment at Ft. Snelling, Minnesota 1861


A Brief History of the Regiment

Summary of Service
(Dictated for the Press, July, 1865.)
     The 2d Minnesota Veteran Volunteer Infantry was originally mustered into service by companies during the summer of 1861, and was employed in post and garrison duty at the different frontier forts in Minnesota, until the close of September of the same year.
     About the middle of October, 1861, the regiment left Fort Snelling 1000 strong, with orders to report at Washington, D.C. Arrived at Pittsburgh, it was met by orders to report to Gen. W. T. Sherman, at Louisville, Ky., and, having so reported, was stationed at Lebanon Junction, Ky., until the 10th of December, when it was assigned to Col. Robert L. McCook's Brigade of the 3d Division, (Gen. Geo. H. Thomas, commanding,) Army of the Ohio, and joined the division at Lebanon, Ky. On the first of January 1862, it marched with Gen. Thomas from Lebanon, on the Zollicoffer campaign, and on the 19th of January participated in the battle of Mill Springs, losing twelve killed and thirty-three wounded. Its gallant conduct on this occasion was fitly acknowledged on its return from the campaign, by the presentation of a beautiful flag by "The Loyal Ladies of Louisville."
     From Louisville the regiment went with the division, by the Ohio and Cumberland river, to Nashville, Tenn., arriving on the 5th of March, 1862. Thence it marched with Gen. Buell's column for Shiloh, arriving there on the 8th of April, participating in the siege of Corinth, and in the pursuit of the enemy after the evacuation of that place, following as far as Booneville, Miss. On returning the regiment was stationed at Corinth, and afterwards at Tuscumbia, Ala., until about the 1st of August, when it marched with the division to Winchester, Tenn. It was during this march that the beloved and lamented General "Bob" McCook was murdered by a squad of guerrillas, near New Market, Ala. From Winchester the regiment marched with Buell's army, via Pelham, Manchester, and Murfreesboro, to Nashville, Tenn., and thence in the famous race with Bragg, to Louisville.
     Marching October 1st from Louisville, it participated in the battle of Perryville and in the pursuit of Bragg's army as far as Crab Orchard, where, after a march and campaign of extraordinary hardship, it rested for a week. Thence it was ordered to Gallatin, Tenn., where it remained on duty until the close of January, 1863. The next five months while Rosecran's army lay at Murfreesboro, the regiment was stationed at Concord Church and at Triune, Tenn., 20 miles south of Nashville. While here in February, Sergeant (now Captain) L. N. Holmes of Co. H, with a squad of twelve men had a brilliant skirmish with two companies of rebel cavalry, killing two and wounding five without loss to themselves.
     On the 23d of June the army again marched, and the 2d Minnesota participated in the campaign against Tullahoma, the crossing of the Tennessee River August 30th, (a very severe engagement,) and in both battles of Chicamauga, Sept. 19th and 20th, in which they lost 35 men killed and 113 wounded. -- more than one-third of the strength of the regiment at the time. In the official report by the brigade commander, this regiment enjoyed the high and enviable honor of mention as having endured the terrible fighting of two days with heavy loss mentioned, "without a straggler."
     Having endured with the army the starvation and other hardships of October and November at Chattanooga, the regiment participated at Mission Ridge, Nov. 25th, 1863, losing five killed and thirty-four wounded -- one-fifth of the entire number present -- and is officially credited with the capture of two Napoleon guns -- twelve pounders. In this assault five of the non-commissioned officers composing the color guard were killed or wounded.
     The regiment re-enlisted in a body December 29th, 1863, left Chattanooga for veteran furlough January 8th, 1864, rejoined the division at Ringgold, Ga., about the 1st of April, having marched through from Nashville.
     It participated in the Atlanta campaign, including the battles of Resaca, Kennesaw Mountain, and Jonesboro, losing four killed and thirty wounded. Accompanied Sherman in his pursuit of Hood northward to Galesville, Ala., and returning to Atlanta, joined in the march to Savannah, losing one man killed and one wounded. Thence in the campaign through the Carolinas, to Goldsboro, N.C., it bore an honorable part, losing two men wounded at Bentonville. Marched with Sherman's army to Raleigh, thence after Johnston's surrender to Richmond, and thence to Washington, and from Washington to Louisville, Ky.
     After more than four years honorable service it goes home for discharge. Of the 1751 men mustered into the regiment, the total casualties since muster in have been: Killed, 57; wounded, 213; died of disease, 171; the number discharged has been 489. The aggregate strength on July 10th, 1865, was 821, of whom 699 are present with the regiment. Of the commissioned officers now with it all but four have risen from the ranks, educated for their positions in the school of actual war.                              

J. W. Bishop, Colonel Commanding.                                        

"Official Records Concerning the Second Regiment Minnesota Veteran Volunteer Infantry", (St. Paul: H.M. Smith Printing Co., 1887), pp.56-58.

Post Civl War History

2nd Battalion - 136th Infantry Regiment

The federal mission of the 2nd Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment, is to mobilize and deploy by air and/or sea, occupy assembly areas, and organize for combat; and on order, efffect a passage of lines to conduct a movement to contact. The state mission of the unit is to provide organized, trained and equipped units and personnel to protect life, property and to preserve peace, order and public safety under the orders of the Governor of the State of Minnesota.

The 2nd Battalion, 136th Infantry traces it lineage back to the 2nd Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. The 2nd Minnesota was mustered into service on June 26, 1861. In Januray 1862, they fought in the battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky. At the Battle of Chickamauga they withstood repeated Confederate attacks. Two months later, the 2nd Minnesota and the rest of the Army of the Cumberland attacked Confederate troops dug in on Missionary Ridge; this was a spontaneous attack not ordered by any officer and resulted in a Union victory. The 2nd Minnesota then fought to capture Atlanta under General Sherman and continued the famous "March to the Sea". The 2nd Minnesota fought under General Sherman until the end of the Civil War.

When the Spanish-American Was broke out in 1889, the 2nd Minnesota was designated as the 12th Infantry Regiment. The Regiment was mustered into federal service but did not serve outside the United States. Ten years later, they were redesignated the 2nd Regiment.

During World War I, the 2nd Minnesota was renamed the 136th Infantry but remained in the United States. Later, the 136th Infantry was assigned to the 34th Infantry Divsion. After completing its training at Camp Cody, New Mexico, the 136th Infantry, as part of the 34th Infantry Division, was shipped overseas. There is suffered the frustration of having its members dispersed to other units, rather than entering the war as a unit. Thus, while many members of the 136th Infantry saw combat in World War I, it was the fate of the unit simply to provide replacements.

The 136th Infantry was again activated in April of 1942 for World War II and assigned to the 33rd Division. After a stay in New Guinea, they moved to the island of Morotai where for 20 days they fought virtually alone against fanatical Japanese resistance. The next fight for the 136th Infantry was Luzon, in the Phillippines. The 136th Infantry overcame resistance at such places as Kennon Road and Skyline Ridge to help secure the island.

Inactivated from federal service in February 1946 at Otsu, Japan, the 136th Infantry was returned home to Minnesota and assigned to the 47th Infantry Division.

The 47th Infantry Division was activated during the Korean War and assigned to Camp Rucker, Alabama. Many members were reassigned and sent to Korea with various combat units.

Starting in 1976, the 2nd Battalion, 136th Infantry was assigned as a round-out unit to the active duty forces. This relationship with the 1st Infantry Division and later with the 194th Separate Armor Brigade, enhanced the warfighting capabilities of the unit. Today, after twenty years as a round-out unit, the 2nd Battalion, 136th Infantry (BEARCATS) are proud to be attached to the 34th Infantry Division.

- Months of intensive training came to fruition for members of the 2nd Battalion, 136th Infantry, 34th Infantry Division, when the unit assumed command of task force south as part of Multi-National Brigade North's Stabilization Force 14 during ceremonies at Eagle Base in Bosnia and Herzegovina September 23, 2003. Headquartered in Moorehead, Minn. and under the command of Lt. Col. Gary Olson, the mission for the soldiers is to assist efforts that contribute to NATO peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia and Hezegovina. Prior to being sent overseas, the unit spent several weeks training at Fort Polk, La. The soldiers will spend approximately seven months in Bosnia and Herzegovina.