G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
6th MINNESOTA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: Summer, 1862 Ft. Snelling, MN
Mustered Out: 8/19/65 Ft. Snelling, MN
During the summer of 1862 initial elements of the 6th (Company D was not mustered in until 9/29) were dispatched within the state to deal with the Sioux Indian uprising which was making Minnesota run red with the blood of settlers. An early engagement at Birch Coolie resulted in 23 dead, 45 wounded and the death of all 87 of the unit’s horses before the Indians were driven off.
The regiment spent the ‘62/63 winter garrisoned throughout Minnesota. In April 1863 the 6th assembled and, that summer was in engagements with the hostiles at Big Hills, Dakota Terr., Stony Lake and at the Missouri River where the enemy’s camp equipage was captured and destroyed. Winter ‘63/’64 found Co’s D, E, and H designated to accompany an expedition to Ft. Thompson where captured Indians were to be settled and supplied.
They reached the fort on 2/2 then made the return trip to Ft. Snelling on half rations in bitterly cold weather. In mid 1864, after long and persistent efforts, the 6th was ordered to south to meet Johnny Reb. Their first stop, however, turned out to be garrison duty in Arkansas where inactivity and the disease producing southern climate took a terrible toll on regimental health
Arriving 940 strong, within a short time only 26 men were able to report for duty and many of them were sick. In November, 1864 the regiment was sent to St. Louis, MO for provost guard (military police) duty. In March, 1865 the 6th was sent to Mobile, AL where they landed on Dauphin Island and, at long last, skirmished with rebels as part of the corps which captured Fort Blakely.
A movement to Montgomery, AL was followed by final muster In Minnesota.
Residence: Inf. Not Avail. Age: 21.2 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 8/13/62 Minneapolis, MN Rank: Pvt.
Mustered Out: 8/19/65 Ft. Snelling, MN
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Nelson, or “Nels” as he was later to be called, was born in Canada 6/2/41 to French-Canadian parents Moses and Saleina (nee Flurie) Dubuque. He had at least one older brother, Calice, and a sister who would later become Mrs. Joe Davison of Bellingham, WA. No additional details are available on his birth family or formative years. Also, no details are present in available documents pertaining to the 5’6” darkly complected farmer’s military tenure. However, based on his regiments reported privations, plus the fact that Nelson was later granted a government disability stipend based on his military service, he undoubtedly suffered health difficulties which hunted him in later life.
After the war the former infantryman settled in Anoka, MN. There, on 7/2/66 he married Eleonore Leaferty (b/8/51) also of French Canadian parentage. Because Minnesotans could not correctly pronounce her French first name, Mrs. Dubuque assumed the name “Laura.” Nels and Laura produced twelve children all except one (*) of which was alive in 1898: Nelson (7/15/67) Adaline (4/8/69), Isaac (3/6/71), Joseph (8/31/72), Henry (abt. 1874 *), Amos (10/15/76), Edward 1/78), Maggie (3/31/72), Freddie (4/20/82, Ivan (1/17/85), Neita (3/15/88), and William (1/19/90). In 1874, Nelson and family moved to Snohomish, Washington Territory. Perhaps it was because his older brother, also a Union veteran and sister already lived in the area.
While it appears Nelson returned to farming, and was active in public affairs, a Seattle Times article later noted that the Dubuque brothers each had homestead rights to 160 acres of land plus an additional 80 acres granted to soldiers that, by 1890 Calice had utilized to plat the town of Dubuque northeast of Snohomish where he built a sawmill. Nels then acquired twelve yoke of oxen and became a logger supplying his brother’s mill.
In the Boom-or bust tradition of the times, Dubuque received the latter fate and is now only remembered by “Dubuque Road” which “branches east from the Snohomish-Macias road three miles north of Snohomish. After “periods of sickness which occurred during the past few years,” Nelson Dubuque died 12/21/14 at the age of 73 yrs, 6 mos., 4 dys. Cause of death for the “retired farmer” was listed as bronchitis exacerbated by apoplexy (stroke) and heart disease. The last available notation on Laura is that she remarried on 6/13/20.
Buried at Snohomish G.A.R.
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