Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Civil War history unfolds at Iowa sites

A soldier yells, a weapon fires, and the Battle of Shiloh begins. Immerse yourself in the action during Keokuk’s Civil War Re-enactment. Keokuk’s location in the far southeast corner of Iowa seems to bring it closer to major events of the Civil War, and for 25 years the community has been commemorating its Civil War history, which includes Civil War generals and one of the nation’s earliest national cemeteries. Other re-enactments are planned in Nashua, Mason City, Bonaparte, and Davis County this year.

Another personality of the Civil War era is revealed at the Council Bluffs home of General Grenville Dodge, Civil War general and railroad builder. Just a few blocks away is the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, also celebrating 150 years with a new exhibit opening May 12. Take time to see their Lincoln Collection during your visit.

Just open is a new 10,000-square-foot exhibit at the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines, titled “Iowa and the Civil War: Nothing But Victory.” See more than 300 authentic artifacts and documents, including battle flags and weaponry, and follow first-hand experiences of Iowans at war and the communities that supported them.

Stories of victory and defeat will be relived through special events and exhibits during the five-year national commemoration of the conflict so check to explore more Iowa connections.

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