ST. CLOUD - One of the thousands of artifacts you can find over at the Stearns History Museum is a sword used in the Civil War. We're starting a new monthly series today (Monday) featuring some of the most interesting artifacts at the museum.

Curator Adam Smith says St. Cloud residents gave Stephen Miller the sword as he left for the war.

Stephen Miller carried this sword with him throughout the Civil War. So he went immediately to the eastern theater of the Civil War in Virginia and fought in the first battle of Bull Run, fought in the Peninsula Campaign with the Union Army, and several other engagements. And then in 1862 he was promoted again to Colonel and he moved back to Minnesota to help fight in the United States-Dakota War.

Smith says Miller was in charge of the Mankato hangings of 38 Dakota Indians in December 1862. Miller went on to become Minnesota's 4th Governor in 1864. He died in 1881.

His family gave the sword back to St. Cloud in 1909, and the museum acquired it about 30-40 years ago.