One hundred-fifty years ago this month, a young immigrant named Balthasar Best shouldered his rifle and dashed down a hill and into history books amid one of the most storied charges in military history. The courageous assault against overwhelming odds by the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment occurred on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, July 2, 1863. The unit had been ordered to stop advancing Confederate forces from taking the elevated ground of Cemetery Ridge. Outnumbered four or five to one, fewer than 300 Minnesota volunteers raced into the teeth of a force of Alabamans numbering close …
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