ADVERTISEMENT

Leslie Maycroft's story

  • August 13, 2012 - 2:40 PM

My great-great grandfather, Ernst F. Blase, enlisted in Company A, Sixth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry under Captain Grant on August 6, 1862. 

Ernst was serving as a guard at the Fort Snelling gate when Gov. Ramsey came to the fort and ordered them to Carver, St. Peter and Fort Ridgely.

On Sept. 1, 1862 his company was sent to bury the bodies of those who had been killed by the Indians two weeks earlier.  A ferryman, his wife and 25 volunteers of the Fifth Minnesota had been killed at Redwood.

In Sept. 2 at daybreak, the Indians attacked in what is known as Birch Coulie.

Ernst Blase was wounded; two balls grazed his right hand and one hit him in the forehead, breaking his skull. At first he didn't realize he had been hit, and continued with his company. The next morning at the Ft. Ridgely hospital a surgeon removed the ball with a hole saw called a trephine. 

Ernst lived, but had a lifelong indentation in his forehead.

Leslie Maycroft

© 2014 Star Tribune