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Minnesota 15th Volunteer Inf. Co. L Sgt. Nettleton Group


Fred Borgmann
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Fred Borgmann

What follows is a description of a grouping that I got in a trade with Al Gleim back in 1985.  The photo's in this grouping provide us with a rare window into that bygone era.

 

Sgt. Walter B. Nettleton 15th Regiment, Company L, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry 1898-1899 Group. Sgt. Nettleton enlisted July 8, 1898 while a student at the University of Minnesota. The 15th Minn. remained in the states for the duration of the Spanish American War and suffered terribly from disease including Typhoid Fever. While in Georgia one of the Minnesotans was killed by a saloon keeper. Sgt. Nettleton and a few others were sent to intercept and prevent several of the dead man's friends from exacting revenge and reigniting the civil war again. This would explain the pass issued to the Sgt. and one other man by the Provost Guard.

 

For his service Nettleton was awarded the Univ. of Minn. Spanish American War service medal. The bronze medal is named and without a loop or suspension as issued. The grouping also includes his 15th Minn. hat badge which was worn on the side of his hat. His red four leaf clover Corps badge which was worn on the front of his hat. A red white and blue pennant pin. A private purchase aluminum dog tag on a leather braid and a U of M military button stick pin.

 

The Nettleton group also includes his discharge which describes him as being of good character, twelve

photos of varying sizes from large to small of the men of Company L and a roll call roster card.

Among the photos are photo #1: Sgt Nettleton standing alone. Photo #2: three sergeants including Nettleton. Photo #3: six NCO's. Photo #4 nineteen men with their hats on the ground and photo #5: with the same men wearing the hats. Photo #6: Co. L photo taken in St. Paul, MN. Photo #7 an official Co. L photo marked with “Capt Wilson Commanding”. Photo #8: the “Grand Review” at Camp Meade, PA. Photo #9: the regimental camp in Augusta, GA. Photo #10: soldiers playing a ball game of some sort. Photo #11: a small photo showing a crude model of the Battleship USS Minnesota which was labeled a “Xmas Decoration” and a larger photo #12: of the same ship with many of the men posing on the ship.

Minn Nettleton886.jpg

Minn Nettleton864.jpg

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Super group Fred, thank you for posting it. 

 

I have seen the University of Minnesota WW1 Service Medal, but had not ever seen or even heard of the Span Am War version. 

 

Any chance you could please post some close up pics of the front and back of the U of M medal? And of the back of the 15th MINN pin also?

 

Thanks!

 

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Also, are you sure that the 15th MINN pin is a uniform pin and not a souvenir or veterans item? 

 

Only reason I ask is because I have seen somewhat similar 13th Minnesota pins. Not identical, but close. Not as well made as an official uniform pin and a different style catch on the back too.  

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Fred Borgmann
4 hours ago, MWalsh said:

Also, are you sure that the 15th MINN pin is a uniform pin and not a souvenir or veterans item? 

 

Only reason I ask is because I have seen somewhat similar 13th Minnesota pins. Not identical, but close. Not as well made as an official uniform pin and a different style catch on the back too.  

Based on looks I would bet that the pendant shaped pin is a post war veterans piece

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Thanks for the extra pics of the medal front and rear. Great to know that these exist out there!

 

The one I was referring to which I think might actually be a veterans piece is the 15th MINN crossed rifles pin. Any chance you could please post a pic of the back of that one as well?     

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Fred Borgmann

Here it is. Looks like one of the prongs is broken off.  On one of the photo's  I can see a partial of a crossed rifles badge on the left side of a hat.  Nice clear makers mark on this one too.

U of M  Span Am War893.jpg

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