SGT AXEL H. REED
Company K, 2d Minnesota Infantry
Battle of Missionary Ridge
25 November 1863
Sgt Axel Reed was a good Soldier, so long as he was in battle. He had a habit of playing the fool in garrison. Reed was in the Stockade, waiting for disciplinary action for insubordination. He openly complained about the food and criticized one of his officers.
On 25 November 1863. The battle of Missionary ridge broke out and Axel Reed felt compelled to do the same. In the confusion, he broke out of the stockade and instead of running away – to freedom….
He secured a rifle and balls, from a wounded soldier then ran to the battle taking his place with his fellow defenders.
SGT Reed fought gallantly during the 2-day battle. He assumed command of his company when the officers were all dead of wounded and led his men in the attack, Reed’s Men were the first to breach Confederate lines leading the victory. Sgt Reed was severely wounded having one of his arms torn off.
After the battle, Sgt Reed reported back to the Stockade to wait for Courts-martial. Charges were dropped and Reed was recommended for the MOH. Although eligible for discharge, Reed chose to remain in the fight, He declined a discharge and remained in active service to the end of the war.