On July 2, 1863 at 5:40AM Isaac Taylor recorded in his diary that his regiment, the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment, had arrived at Gettysburg. “Order from Gen. [John] Gibbon read to us in which he says this is to be the great battle of the war & that any soldier leaving ranks without leave will be instantly put to death,” as Taylor noted. By the end of the day 215 of the 262 soldiers in the regiment had been killed or wounded. While Isaac died, his brother, Patrick Henry Taylor, made it out of the battle without injury. After Patrick buried his brother, he added the final entry to the diary – Isaac had been “killed by a shell about sunset” and his grave was located “[about] a mile South of Gettysburg.” Four other Taylor brothers also served in other Union regiments during the Civil War. While Jonathan (Second Minnesota Battery of Light Artillery), Danford (Twelfth Illinois Cavalry), and Samuel (102nd Illinois Infantry) survived the war, Judson was in Company K of the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry when he died at Vicksburg on December 1, 1864. Isaac’s Taylor’s diary was published in the Minnesota History Magazine in 4 sections. You can download them as a PDF file: Part 1 ; Part 2 ; Part 3 ; Part 4. Several historians have studied the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, including John Quinn Imholte’s The First Volunteers; History of the First Minnesota Volunteer Regiment, 1861-1865 (1963), Richard Moe’s Last Full Measure: The Life and Death of the First Minnesota Volunteers (1993), and Brian Leehan’s Pale Horse at Plum Run: The First Minnesota at Gettysburg (2004). You can read another account of the regiment’s actions in James A. Wright’s No More Gallant a Deed: a Civil War Memoir of the First Minnesota Volunteers (2001).