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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Efforts to preserve battlefields from the Civil War continue to this day with organizations like American Battlefield Trust. This "deed" to a portion of the Gettysburg Battlefield was a successful venture of the 1950s.
Discharge papers.

For a list of burials (many with GPS coordinates) of Civil War veterans see https://www.findagrave.com/virtual-cemetery/1212768

See the category--Civil War Sketches




During the Civil War, Iowa sent: forty-four Infantry Regiments, four Artillery Batteries, nine Cavalry Regiments and the First Iowa Infantry African Descent, which became the Sixtieth U. S. Colored Infantry. Over 800 Iowans enlisted in the Navy and Marines, stationed along either the MISSISSIPPI RIVER or the Atlantic Coast.

Iowans wore Blue and fought for the North. Their uniforms were made of wool. Their shoes, neither left nor right, were "broken in" as one of the other, by wearing them until they fit. Rifles weighed 10 pounds and fired one round at a time. Soldiers earned $13 a month and were paid every three months. Often their rations were few: General Sherman liked the Iowa boys “ 'cause they knew how to forage for food and took long strides when they marched”. (Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War--Iowa Department---Online: https://www.iowasuvcw.org/

Ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry (2-24 September 1861/Dubuque) – Pea Ridge, Vicksburg, Jackson, Lookout Mountain (TN), Missionary Ridge, March to the Sea

Third Battery Iowa Light Artillery (24 September 1861/Dubuque) – Sugar Creek (MO), Pea Ridge, Helena, Little Rock, Arkadelphia (AR) Twelfth Iowa Volunteer Infantry (17 October-25 November 1861/Dubuque) – Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Shiloh

Twenty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry (3 October 1862/Dubuque) – Vicksburg, Red River

Thirty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry (6 October 1862/Dubuque) – Red River, Mobile

Thirty-eighth Iowa Volunteer Infantry (4 November 1862/Dubuque) – Vicksburg, Red River

 (Source: https://www.iowanationalguard.com/History/History/Pages/Civil-War.aspx)

Excavated portion of lead "IOWA" state pin from a Civil War uniform

CIVIL WAR. The American Civil War was a struggle fought within the United States from 1861 until 1865 with complex political, economic, psychological and social causes. For an excellent background, read chapters 1-9 of James McPherson's Pulitzer Prize winning book Battle Cry of Freedom or Reflections on the Civil War by Bruce Catton.

Certainly one of the reasons was the use of slavery in the agricultural South. Letters from slave dealers depict the sale of humans as one might expect the trade in cattle. This appeared in the Dubuque Herald on April 28, 1880 under the title: "A War Relic---The Price of Negroes."

                                                          Griffin, Georgia, Jan. 4, 1860
                         Dear Bro--I sold all of the negroes yesterday that were advertised,
                         except Mary and her chuld, and they brought:--
                           John, 30 years old........$14.15
                           Ned,  23 years old........$15.10
                           Hilliard, 19 years old....$14.30
                           Henry, 21 years old.......$15.55
                           Al,   19 years of old.....$15.00
                           Bunn, 22 years old........$16.00
                           Bunce, 13 years old.......$13.50
                           Judy and three children...$28.90
                                                         Your Bro.
                                                          H. B. Holliday

Express and Herald Jan 12, 1861. Photo courtesy: Diane Harris
Express and Herald Jan 12, 1861. Photo courtesy: Diane Harris

The Civil War was a glaring example of getting into a war before being prepared. (1) In 1861 most of the 16,000-man United States Army was scattered among seventy-nine frontier posts west of the Mississippi River. One third of its officers resigned to serve with their friends in the South. All but one of the heads of the eight army bureaus had been in service since the War of 1812. The Union Army had no general staff, no strategic plans, and no program of mobilization. It possessed few accurate maps of the South. When General Henry W. Halleck, commanding the Western Department in early 1862, wanted maps, he had to purchase them from a St. Louis bookstore. (2)

A call signed by about one-hundred citizens appeared about the middle of January, 1861, for a meeting of

        all persons who are impressed with 
        the imminent perils of dissolution 
        now threatening the Union and are 
        willing in a spirit of conciliation 
        and compromise to agree to an settlement 
        of the questions which now unhappily 
        distract the country, upon the basis of 
        the Crittenden Compromise propositions. (3)

This meeting was held at the Dubuque court house. Warner LEWIS was named chairperson and William W. Mills the secretary. A committee of five-- T. M. Monroe, Dr. James C. Lay, Thomas Faherty, James H. Williams and J. Hannibal EMERSON--were chosen to write resolutions. While these men met, the secretary read the Crittenden resolutions and the meeting heard a strong Union appeal by John D. JENNINGS. The resolutions declared that the people were unalterably attached to the Union; that there was no natural conflict between the two sections; and that the Crittenden Compromise or some other practical proposition should be adopted. After debate, the resolutions were unanimously adopted and forwarded to Congress. (4)

The DUBUQUE HERALD consistently expressed the view that the country was unnecessarily headed for war.

        War has probably been commenced between the North and 
        the South, consequent upon the persistency (sic) of the 
        administration to hold Fort Sumter and to carry into effect 
        the doctrine of the 'irrepressible conflict.' We have but 
        little heart today for comment. In a day or two at farthest 
        we shall probably have the result of the conflict in Charleston 
        harbor. We anticipate it will be a bloody one — destructive of 
        life and property, and the beginning of revolution which will 
        end in the destruction of the government and of course of the 
        Union. (5)
                               Herald, April 10, 1861 

The Herald argued that while the government had a right to reinforce Fort Sumter, other circumstances overshadowed such a right. A different plan should be taken and remedial measures taken. (6)

         A parental government would have tried remedial 
         measures first before resorting to the exercise 
         of its vengeance; but the government as administered 
         by Mr. Lincoln seems to know of but one course to pursue, 
         and that is to provoke a conflict between the government 
         and its disaffected people, for the purpose of coercing 
         them to obey its own behests and to submit to the infliction
         of intolerable grievances from a fanatical faction which 
         have obtained control of the government. 
                        Herald, April 10, 1861

By 1861, many military companies had been organized in Dubuque: the DUBUQUE CITY GUARDS, Turner Rifle Company, GOVERNOR'S GREYS, JACKSON GUARDS, DUBUQUE LIGHT HORSE GUARDS, UNION GUARDS, DUBUQUE LIGHT ARTILLERY, and the WASHINGTON GUARDS. The number of military groups and their lack of training was a concern for some residents. (See editorial on left)

Just two days before the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, the Herald carried this editorial: (7)

        What deep lethargy has fallen on the 
        American people? The government is 
        tumbling into ruins. The nation is on 
        the verge of a plunge into civil war. 
        Imbecility of rulers at the federal 
        capital is governed by a military 
        dictator. Hostile fleets and armies 
        are dispatched to begin hostilities 
        upon our brethren of the South, when 
        that act shall become the death knell 
        of the Union. Men of all parties can 
        be found who deprecate the hostile 
        operations of the military dictator at 
        Washington. Let us all who are opposed 
        to the code of coercion meet in one vast 
        body in Dubuque and protest with our 
        loudest voice against civil war and the 
        military terrorism inaugurated at Washington. 
        Our motto should be, 'No fraternal bloodshed 
        — no civil war; but peace and conciliation.
                     Herald, April 11, 1861 

The opposing view during the lead up to and years of civil war was expressed by the DUBUQUE TIMES. On July 12, 1861, an article signed "Patriot" appeared in the Times, from which the following are extracts: (8)

         To the Lazy-Abiding Citizens of Dubuque. — It is 
         well known to you that there is a paper published 
         in our midst that is devoted entirely, both in its
         editorials and selected matter, to the cause of 
         those who are endeavoring to overthrow our government 
         and our liberties. This paper, while it professes to 
         be in favor of the Union and denies being in favor of 
         secession, yet boldly advocates a recognition of the 
         Southern Confederacy and opposes 'forcing a government
         upon people which they do not desire,' thus giving the 
         lie to its professions of Union, a paper which is 
         notoriously in the hands of a few persons of "gentle 
         southern blood,' who boldly sympathize with the South 
         and rejoice over any temporary success she may achieve 
         and who have repeatedly declared their intention of 
         returning to her soil to take arms against our government. 
         It is well known that this paper is exerting quite a wide-
         spread and seditious influence upon its readers and waxing 
         bolder every day.  
         Would it not be well for the patriots of this city to 
         assemble in mass meeting in a quiet and orderly manner 
         to express our indignation and abhorrence of the sentiments 
         of this paper and its supporters, to declare that such are 
         not the sentiments of this community in general, to withdraw 
         our support from it, both in subscription and in advertising, 
         and to counsel as to those means which may be rightly used 
         to rid us of the reproach and injury its existence brings 
         upon us? That this is a duty now devolving upon us is freely 
         admitted by many influential citizens with whom longer patience 
         has ceased to be a virtue."

With the firing upon Fort Sumter, President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers. At the time, the State of Iowa was only twelve years old; the city of Dubuque was thirty. (9) When the final records were checked at the end of the war, it was found that half of the men of military age in Iowa had marched to war. The state never again saw a departure of so many of its young men (as a percent of population) in any military action. In the first days of enlistment, so many young men came forward that four companies rather than just two could have been created. (10) The 21ST IOWA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY REGIMENT, formed in Dubuque under the leadership of Colonel John F. Bates, was the first Iowa unit established under Lincoln's call for volunteers on ninety-day service. Later regiments were formed of men volunteering typically for three years.

Volunteers, of course, had concerns about their families when they were gone. Some of Dubuque's leading citizens quickly formed the short-lived VOLUNTEER FUND BOARD. (11)

The call-up of volunteers brought tension to Dubuque. A picket was stationed in town to keep the many troops from "committing acts of indiscretion" such as blocking sidewalks or excessive drinking. (12) Iowa Catholics especially in Dubuque were not generally supporters of the war. (13) Bishop Mathias LORAS owned a slave. Other Catholic bishops, while insisting that slave owners treat their slaves in a humanely, seemed to accept the practice as a part of Southern society. Traditionally Democratic, Dubuque Catholics supported Democratic political candidates in 1860. Patrick J. QUIGLEY and George Wallace JONES committed themselves to the Democratic candidate, Breckenridge. Dennis MAHONY, an influential lay leader in the church, teacher, state legislator, and newspaper editor chose to support Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas. While Lincoln carried the state in the election of 1860, Dubuque and Lee counties voted Democratic. (14)

Iowa Catholics also had reservations about the new Republican Party. Formed just before the election of 1860, this political group included anti-Catholics such as the former Know-Nothings. The DUBUQUE OBSERVER came into existence in 1854 with a definite hostility to the Irish and foreign born and a suspicious attitude toward Catholics. A belief at the time was that a Catholic conspiracy existed which was attempting to bring down the Republic and the Constitution. (15)

Given the strong pro-Southern leanings of many of the citizens, Bishop Clement SMYTH took a decidedly different approach. The bishop strongly condemned the activities of the COPPERHEADS and threatened excommunication of any Catholics who joined. He called upon the foreign born not to do anything that would suggest they were disloyal. He openly expressed grief at the death of Lincoln at the end of the war. (16)

Two Dubuque companies were the Governor's Greys led by Captain Fredrick Gottschalk and Captain Francis J. HERRON and the Jackson Guard. Only four of the Jackson Guards were native-born Americans. The other members of the company were immigrants from Prussia, Bavaria, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Luxembourg, and nine German states. The Governor's Greys were primarily native-born Americans with nearly half of the company originally from New York and only five natives of Iowa. There were fifteen foreign-born members of the group.

The tactics taught to the new soldiers either Union or Confederate were the same as used by Napoleon with training manuals almost exact translations of the French manuals. Soldiers were instructed to fight in close formations of two rows with soldiers standing shoulder-to-shoulder. This formation was first used when the single-shot, muzzle-loading musket became the normal weapon. Even with this advancement in weapons, Civil War officers believed in the massing of continuous firepower. Frontal assaults on the enemy was a common tactic. (17)

Marksmanship was not considered important. Firing ranges were generally unheard of and if used employed round targets. When actually confronted by an enemy, it was not unheard of for soldiers to toss their weapons to the ground and flee in horror. It was decades before targets of human shapes were used to familiarize soldiers with the actual shooting of another human being. (18)

On April 22, 1861, the companies led by the GERMANIA BAND marched to the base of Jones Street and departed for Missouri aboard the "Alhambra." The famous event was illustrated by Alexander SIMPLOT. (19) The Dubuque Herald on April 23, 1861 noted that volunteers continued walking as far as twenty-five miles to Dubuque. Pro-war sermons were preached by ministers of the Baptist and Congregational Churches. Classes at Catholic schools were dismissed, and Bishop Smyth flew the Stars and Stripes.

Dubuque Herald, April 26, 1861. Image courtesy: Diane Harris

Recognizing the instant need for uniforms, Governor Kirkwood sent Ezekiel Clark to Chicago to buy cloth for fifteen hundred soldiers. “Let the material be strong and durable”, he wrote. Unfortunately the only cloth which could be obtained was “some very poor, sleazy satinette, half cotton and half wool, only fit for summer war”. (20) This material was believed to be strong enough for uniforms for the men in the First Regiment, whose term of enlistment was for the summer months. However, “the boys, before the march to Springfield in Missouri, had got their thin clothes badly worn out, especially behind, and many of them took flour sacks and made themselves aprons and wore them there instead of in front." Gen. Lyon saw the first one of these on a soldier and ordered him to remove it. At once, he found its removal left soldier without a ‘rear guard’ and exposed to the jokes of friend and foe. He ordered the 'cover' quickly replaced. (21)

Coming to the aid of the troops were the Ladies Volunteer Labour Society and tailors of Dubuque. Despite two hundred and forty-eight people helping make uniforms (see the editorial on the left), they were not complete and were sent two weeks later. Plans had called for: (22)

       Capt. Herron’s Company, Dubuque; each man, 
       hat, frock coat, pants, two flannel shirts, 
       two pairs of socks and one pair of shoes.
       Capt. Gottschalk’s Company, Dubuque; blouse 
       instead of coat, and other articles same as 
       Capt. Herron’s.

In August 1861 members of the First Iowa returned home in brand new uniforms after their ninety-day service. The new uniforms hid the fact that for most of their duty, the soldiers had been dressed in "tatters...that would excite the profoundest contempt of the seediest beggar." (23)

The following humorous account is given of the Governor’s Greys when they put on their first uniforms:

             They are admirable fits, all of them, except say eighty 
             or a hundred… A majority of the boys are able to get their 
             pantaloons from the floor by buttoning the waistbands 
             around their necks—others accomplish this desirable result 
             by bringing the waistbands tight up under the arms and 
             rolling them up six or eight inches at the bottom. To be 
             sure this is a little inconvenient in some respects—a 
             fellow has to take off his belts, then his coat, and 
             then ascend one story before he can reach his pockets, 
             and after reaching them they are so deep that one has to 
             take the pants off entirely before he can reach the bottom. 
             Each pocket will hold a shirt, a blanket and even the wearer 
             himself if at any time he finds such a retreat necessary.
             And the coats fit beautifully—almost in fact as well as the 
             pants. To be sure half of them are two feet too large around 
             the waist, and almost as much too small around the chest—but 
             then these two drawbacks admirably offset each other. In the 
             cases of fifteen or twenty of them the top collar is but a 
             trifle above the small of the wearer’s back, and in the cases 
             of about as many more the same article is a few inches above 
             the head of their owners. The same collar also in some cases 
             terminates beneath each ear, and in many others it sweeps away 
             around in a magnificent curve, forming a vast basin whose rim 
             is yards distant from the neck of its possessor. And the sleeves, 
             too, have here and there a fault—some are so tight under the arms 
             that they lift one up as if he were swinging upon a couple of 
             ropes that pass underneath his armpits—others strike boldly out 
             and do not terminate their voluminous course till at distance of 
             several inches beyond the tips of his fingers, while others conclude 
             their journey after marching an inch or so below the elbows.

Despite the problems, the work of the women was appreciated. The Governor’s Greys adopted the following resolution:

             Head-Quarters, G. Greys, Co. I, 1st Reg. I. S. M.,
             Verandah Hall, Keokuk, May 15, 1861
             At a meeting of the company the following resolutions were 
             unanimously adopted:
             Whereas, The matrons and maidens of Dubuque, fired with the 
             same noble patriotism and enthusiasm as inspired those of 
             ’76, and emulating their noble example, have left their daily 
             avocations of business or pleasure, to unite in aiding us to 
             go forth properly accoutred to meet the enemies of our country; 
             Resolved, That we appreciate with the liveliest emotions of 
             gratitude that self-sacrificing patriotism which flowers indigenous 
             in the breast of woman, and has prompted them to this act of kindness 
             toward us.
             Resolved, That the consciousness that we shall daily carry with us 
             the smiles and the prayers, the hopes and the fears of so many lovely 
             faces and warms hearts, will strengthen our rougher bosoms to endure 
             with patience the hardships, and courage to meet boldly the dangers 
             that may oppose us, while fighting the battles of our country.
             Resolved, That these uniforms, into which so fair hands have woven 
             so many and so kind wishes, will be an impenetrable web to the entrance 
             of traitors or cowardly thoughts and a sacred remembrance of those for 
             whose protection we are fighting.
             Resolved, That the coats shall be our coats of arms, that they shall 
             never be turn coats, that they will always remind us of the petticoats, 
             and that while we wear the pants we shall always pant for honor, and 
             hope to make the ladies participants of that hour.
             Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to the President 
             of the Ladies’ Volunteer Aid Association and to the daily papers of 
             F. J. Herron, Capt. Co. I
             Charles N. Clark, Clerk of Co. I.

Governor Kirkwood wrote the following letter to Dubuque:

          Mrs. A. Gillespie, Sec’y, &c., Dubuque, Iowa:
          Dear Madam:--Through the attention of D. N. Cooley, Esq., I am 
          informed of the voluntary services rendered by yourself and other 
          ladies of Dubuque, in fitting out the two companies of volunteers 
          from your city.
          I can not allow the occasion to pass without expressing my sincere 
          thanks for this practical display of the patriotism of the ladies 
          of Dubuque.
          You have set a noble example in thus coming forward in the time of 
          our need, and have shown us by this patriotic offering to the welfare 
          of our gallant soldiers, that it needs, but the occasion to reproduce 
          the heroines of ’76. With the request that you will convey to each and 
          every one of the ladies connected with you in this good work, my 
          assurance, that your general assistance will be fully appreciated by 
          the people of the State, I beg to subscribe myself, most respectfully,
          Your obedient servant,
          Gov. Samuel J. Kirkwood. (24)

The above information runs counter to the experience of Iowa troops stationed at Camp McClellan, near Davenport. Peter Wilson, an enlisted soldier from Traer, Iowa wrote the following:

                                                                      Camp McClellan,             
                                                                   November 23rd 1861
                            Dear Father: We are still in this place although expecting
                            to leave soon. We got our overcoats yesterday so we can
                            brave the coldest weather. I have the best suit of clothes
                            that I had in my life, we have an overcoat, fatigue coat,
                            and uniform coat, and plenty of other clothes. We packed 
                            such things as we did not need and sent them home this
                            morning. We Wolf Creek boys put out things in a barrel and
                            sent them to James care of Graham of Toledo... (25)
                                                                     Benton Barracks
                                                                   December 16, 1861
                            ...You inform me that the Buckingham ladies are raising
                            money for the soldiers. I think they ha better use it 
                            about home...As far as clothing and blankets are
                            concerned we have more than we know what to do with.
                            When we go into the field and have to march a good deal
                            we throw away probably half of what we now have. When a
                            Regiment goes out I could buy all kinds of clothing for
                            almost nothing so that the good ladies of Tama County
                            must be under some mistake in regards to our wants. (26)

Stories from the scenes of battle were written by the "Bohemian Brigade," America's first war correspondents. (27) Alexander SIMPLOT, one of this group, wrote of being housed in a little tavern near St. Louis:

          It was southern in style, a broad balcony in front over a 
          cool pavement--no two rooms upon the same floor; no way of 
          getting upstairs except by going out of doors...little boys 
          and girls standing behind the guests at dinner and waving long 
          wands over the table to disconcert the omnipresent flies...

250pxCivil War body armor advertisement.

One of the lesser unknown objects worn after 1862 by some Union soldiers was body armor. G&D Cook Company and Atwater Armor Company of New Haven, Connecticut started the mass production of bulletproof vests when the Civil War began. G&D Cook Company, originally a carriage maker, switched to body armor production due to the high demand. The Atwater Armor Company produced 200 body armors a day at its peak production rate. (28)

The body armor manufactured by both companies was never officially issued to the troops on either side. There were no regulations or guidelines in place to control how they were designed and tested. G&D Cook Company manufactured two models, one for infantry and another for cavalry and artillery. The vest for cavalry and artillery was the heavier model. Two steel plates were joined together in the center, supported by hooks secured over the shoulder. A blue cloth fabric with gold buttons was placed around the waist to cover the steel plating. This was also done to resemble the Union uniform. (29)

Whether the Atwater Company manufactured more than one model is not known. Their vests were heavier and more expensive. Atwater used four steel plates. Like the Cook's vest, it was also secured over the shoulder with two hooks. A belt was added around the waist for a tighter fit. (30)

Civil War body armor

The vests were widely advertised in the Harper’s Weekly and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. Some of the advertisements contained false endorsements from military officers. Stores sold the vests for $5.00 for privates and $7.00 for officers. (31)

The vests sold quickly in the early days of war, but soldiers quickly became disillusioned with them. They were marching with as much as 50 pounds of equipment and when the vest was included that was an additional 6 to 12 pounds. Some soldiers did not wear the vest because of the stigma of cowardice associated with it; others complained the vest did not fit comfortably under their uniforms. (32)

Food supplies were a definite problem. Soldiers in the First Iowa during one four-day march covering seventy-eight miles were issued one cup of corn meal mush per day. (33) Soldiers added what food they could find. Coffee was issued as a whole bean because contractors of food otherwise tried to adulterate the grounds. Several beans were placed in a bucket and ground with the butt of a rifle. (34) The basic ration for soldiers was salt pork or bacon and hardtack, a large soda cracker made thick so that it would not break into pieces. (35) When fresh it was said to be good, but often boxes of hardtack sat on railroad platforms for days or were warehoused for weeks or months. The hardtack was often infested with bugs. (36) Perhaps the worse element of the meal was the pork. Correspondent Franc WILKIE claimed "it reposes in superlative nastiness in every barrel. (37) This may have been especially disturbing to Dubuque soldiers who were aware that William A. RYAN of Dubuque was such a major supplier of pork that he was nicknamed "Hog" Ryan back home.

Life of a Civil War soldier was filled with hours of monotony between battles. Racing lice across a tin plate ranked as one of the most peculiar activities of Civil War soldiers. Writing letters home provided more activity and valued family artifacts for future generations. Gambling involved breaking civic morality since gambling was considered a vice and rules established by camp commanders who wished to avoid the potential of bad feelings among the soldiers. Soldiers, however, found it an opportunity to make a little more money and pass the time. Some soldiers posed openly for photographers gambling, drinking, and smoking. Others discarded their decks of cards along the roads to battlefields. They feared family members would find the cards among their possessions if they died in battle and their bodies and effects were returned to family members. Carving proved a valuable talent which earned some soldiers additional money. Wooden chains, rings, and pipes became museum displays after the war. When assembled in winter quarters, chess was popular with the games being sent home in the spring with the resumption of marching and battle. (38)

The use of the "Soldier's Stamp" was meant to encourage letter writing without the need to keep up with changing postal rates.

Communications with family "back home" was aided when postal officials created a "Soldier's Stamp" which allowed letters to be sent from the war zone without the need of following regular postage requirements. Problems arose, however, when troops who were uneducated or who had never addressed an envelope sent letters which could not be deciphered. These were collected and sent to the DEAD LETTER OFFICE in Washington, D.C. There the clerks, with special permission of Congress, were allowed to open the mail for clues as to where it had been intended.

Civil War token produced in Cedar Rapids. Photo courtesy: http://tokencatalog.com/display_records.php?action=DisplayRecords&view=Civil+War+Tokens

With the attack on Fort Sumter, businessmen quickly noticed the disappearance of coins. Gold was the first to be hoarded, then silver, and finally small copper-nickel cents. Hoarding made it difficult to purchase low cost items such as newspapers or a shave. Items used to replace coins included encased postage stamps and the "Civil War token." Unlike coinage produced by the federal government, these tokens were minted by private citizens and companies. Usually round in shape, the token had trade value but only in the vicinity in which it was issued. Tokens were mostly produced in the Northeast and Midwestern states.

In the area around Dubuque, the two recognized producers of Civil War tokens which may have worked their way into Dubuque commerce came from Cedar Rapids and Lansing, Iowa. To be officially considered a "Civil War token" the object, according to the Civil War Token Society, had to be 18-25 millimeters in diameter--the size of the federal government's Flying Eagle and Indian Head cents introduced into circulation in 1857 and 1859 respectively. On April 22, 1864, Congress enacted the Coinage Act of 1864. The act introduced the phrase "In God We Trust" on the newly created two-cent piece and ended the usage of Civil War tokens. (39)

One of Upham's notes. Check the line at the bottom of the bill.

Without doubt, some of Dubuque's citizen soldiers stationed in the South came into contact and used Confederate currency at the beginning of the war. Little did they know their part in breaking the southern financial economy. At the start of the Civil War, Samuel C. Upham recognized the interest people in the North had in Confederate artifacts. In February 1862, he acquired an electroplate of Confederate money and quickly started producing his own counterfeit notes. (40) His plan was not criminal. His first printing consisted of 3,000 five-dollar notes, each stamped at the bottom with the words, "Facsimile Confederate Note - Sold wholesale and retail by S.C. Upham 403 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia." He sold his first batch for a penny per copy. They proved extremely popular. Before long, Upham was advertising what he called "mementos of the Rebellion" in the New York Tribune, Harper's Weekly, and other papers. (41)

The problem occurred when southerners recognized the cheap copies of large denomination notes could easily pass for genuine currency. All that was needed was a pair of scissors to cut Upham's address off the bottom of the note. As the counterfeit currency spread through the South, Confederate officials believed they were the victim of a Northern plot. It was not until a captured Union soldier was found with one of Upham's bills, with the address on the bottom, that the truth of the situation became apparent. Warnings were published, but the quality of the copies made detection almost impossible.

Upham's operation also caused a dilemma for the Union government. There was concern that to permit an enterprise like Upham's would provoke southerners to retaliate by counterfeiting northern currency. The Union government did not possess any legal means to stop Upham and did not recognize the legitimacy of the Confederate government. Upham claimed that Senator Foote, in a speech before the Confederate Congress, at Richmond, in 1862, said that "he (Upham) had done more to injure the Confederate cause than General McClellan and his army..."

By the end of the war, Southerners were generally avoiding Confederate notes and using barter or northern bills. Upham discontinued his facsimile business in late 1863 and returned to selling stationery, perfume, and hair dye. His notes were still being used in the war-torn South by Union soldiers and other persons after he shut down his business. (42)

Troops were supplied with a bewildering variety of carbines during the Civil War. Photo courtesy: Gettysburg National Military Park
Soldiers were able to bring many sidearms with them. Supplying ammunition, however, posed a serious problem. Gettysburg National Military Park.

Fort Sumter National Memorial

After patriotic enthusiasm fell, the North began drafting soldiers in 1863. The South began the year before. This was a typical draft notice. Image courtesy: Smithsonian Institution. http://www.civilwar.si.edu/soldiering_draftnotice.html#)

Supplying weapons for the troops proved difficult. Captain R. G. Herron returned from Springfield, Illinois on May 4, 1861. He had been sent by Governor Kirkwood to requisition 5,000 "stands" of arms. Herron found nothing but old flintlocks which had been refitted into percussion arms. There were bayonets but no scabbards. He refused all of the equipment. Most of the arms in government arsenals (including the 159,000 muskets seized by Confederate states) were smooth bore, many of them antique flintlocks. War correspondent, Franc Wilkie claimed the guns posed a bigger threat to "friend than enemy."

A Simplot sketch as it was received by an engraver at Harper's Weekly. Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald

After seeing the troops leave on the "Alhambra," Alexander Simplot became one of about thirty "Special Artists" who braved the shelling along with the troops to capture the action with sketches. Needing only a pencil and sketchbook, the artist was faster and less expensive than a photographer. At the time, two weeks between battle and published sketch was considered very fast.

What people actually saw was an engraving made from a sketch. When a Simplot sketch reached Harper's Weekly it was coped in reverse by a "home artist" on a block of boxwood with a polished and whittled surface. The block was made up of as many as thirty-six rectangular sections held together by sunken bolts. If time allowed, an engraver would cut the entire block after the guide drawing was completed. If a deadline required speed, the block would be taken apart after lines running from one rectangle to another were cut in. Each rectangle was then given to an engraver to finish. Engravers became specialists with some focusing on human figures while others worked on buildings. Although the reader never saw the original sketch, the scenes usually appeared exactly as they were drawn. To help the engravers with their work, artists at the scene often included notes instructing the engravers how to fill in background. Because the artist's name was seldom attached to the pictures, identification of individual artist's work was difficult.

On August 10, 1861, Dubuque troops fought at the Battle of Wilson's Creek in southwestern Missouri near Springfield. The First Iowa Regiment was in the center of battle and took heavy loses. The Union Army lost 1,235 men and the Southern army lost 3,000. The bloody battle, which lasted only one morning, led to the death of 30 percent of the Jackson Guards and 23 percent of the Governors' Greys whose gray uniforms unfortunately led many to be mistaken for Confederates. The battered troops marched home to be mustered out. Many enlisted again in new companies and became officers. The First Regiment was never reorganized. Instead of recruiting old regiments up to strength, states preferred to organize new ones. These offered more opportunities for patronage in the form of officers' commissions and pride in the number of regiments sent by the state. (43)

Professional soldiers detested the practice of electing officers in volunteer regiments and appointing generals through politics. On July 22, the day after the Union defeat at Bull Run, the Union Congress authorized the creation of military boards to examine officers and remove those unqualified. Hundreds of incompetent officers were quickly discharged or resigned voluntarily rather than face the examiners. In his letters home during the war, Peter Wilson made it clear that enlisted men also took a role in supervising their superiors...

                                                                     Dec, 7, 1861
                         ...Our boys got to thinking Stivers (a commanding officer
                         paid more attention to his women that he ought and
                         neglected to drill us as much as he ought.  They got up
                         a petition requesting him to resign or tend to his business;
                         he took the latter course double quick... (44)

Dubuque residents along with Americans throughout the country soon became aware of the terrible nature of war. Correspondents like Wilkie reported the tragedy:

          Some the wounds were horrible; some had the
          lower jaw shot away, others had arms torn
          off, others came in with legs dangling over
          the sides of the wagon, all thirsty, and
          calling almost incessantly for water.  A
          flag of truce went out soon after to bring
          in the wounded and bury the dead, and up to
          a late hour the work went on. 

Envelopes were commonly used to support the unity of the nation.

Eleven days after Wilson's Creek, one-fourth of the Jackson Guards and half of the Governors' Greys re-enlisted. In 1862 Captain Herron became the youngest major general on either side at the time of his appointment. (45)

Dennis MAHONY, editor of the Dubuque Herald, wrote to Governor Kirkwood and offered to recruit and lead an Irish regiment. His offer was not accepted. Other efforts by Democrats to join in the war effort were also rejected, an action that has led some historians to suspect the Republican Party of attempts to gain a partisan victory from the war with political and economic benefits. The conflict over the Civil War was carried out locally through the NEWSPAPERS. The editor of the Dubuque Times, a staunchly Republican publication, even suggested that if Democrats really wanted to cooperate in the war effort they would join the Republican Party.

Most Northern Democrats did support the war effort, earning the title "War Democrats." Other Democrats came to oppose the war and earned for themselves the term "Peace Democrats" or more commonly "Copperheads." (46) Dubuque also had its southern sympathizers. Senator George Wallace JONES, a life-long friend of Confederate President Jefferson DAVIS and United States ambassador to Columbia, was arrested upon his return to the United States in part because of indiscreet letters he had written Davis prior to the Civil War. His political fortunes ended, Jones raised an uproar by going south to visit Davis after the war and returned in 1899 to attend the funeral of his friend.

Anti-Catholic and anti-foreign attitudes expressed by those who were also anti-slavery angered many Dubuque residents. Republican leaders including President Abraham Lincoln believed that many influential Dubuque citizens were pro-slavery. Dubuque was rumored to be a headquarters of the KNIGHTS OF THE GOLDEN CIRCLE. There was widespread suppression of the press, along with arrests, censorship, and suspension of habeas corpus. It has been said Jones was jailed as much as a warning to powerful Dubuque residents as for his letters to Davis. Mahony, a bitter opponent to the war, was arrested on August 13, 1862, at his home and jailed in the Washington, D.C. prison without habeas corpus until after the elections in November 1862.

Nearly every company of soldiers stopped in front of the offices of the "Dubuque Times" to give three cheers for the newspaper's support of the war. Dubuque's principal newspapers bitterly attacked each other's point of view. Accusations made by the Dubuque Times against the Dubuque Herald led Dennis Mahony to charge the paper with libel. The Herald further incited the Times by printing editorials that urged peace and condemned the Lincoln Administration. A riot caused by rumors of a plot to destroy the Herald office was prevented by law enforcement officials and the efforts of Mayor Henry L. STOUT.

Dubuque was selected as a rendezvous for regiments raised by a new call from the War Department. The first training center was CAMP UNION. Located near the Mississippi River and current day Rhomberg Avenue, it opened in August, 1861 and served as a recruiting center. Within a month there were 600 volunteers at the camp under the military discipline of Col. William Boyd ALLISON. There were ten barracks, outdoor cooking and eating, water and bathing facilities, and ample food. Col. Julius K. GRAVES served as quartermaster at the camp and gave out rations and blankets. ) Recruiting offices flew flags from nearly every block in the city.

Since Dubuque had such an anti-Lincoln reputation, the idea of it being the headquarters for a training center called Camp Union made little sense. The camp reopened in July 1861 as CAMP FRANKLIN and housed the IOWA 21ST VOLUNTARY INFANTRY, IOWA 27TH INFANTRY REGIMENT, IOWA 32ND REGIMENT, and IOWA 38TH INFANTRY REGIMENT. All 120 men of the 21st regiment were residents of Dubuque; Captain Swivel was their leader.

The barracks for the volunteers were constructed 60 feet by 20 feet to house one hundred men. More than six hundred were quartered two weeks after the camp was built. Soldiers were advised to take their own blankets or quilts because the camp had none. Apparently this advice was not followed because "Captains Welsh and Rogers went door to door in Dubuque asking for blankets" with the promise that they would be returned when they were no longer needed.

Julius K. Graves built a hospital on the bluffs to treat the wounded and sick. Outbreaks of typhoid, measles and other diseases, however, occurred during the fall of 1862, causing 11 deaths and over 200 sick men. Sick soldiers were cared for by the Soldiers Aid Society and the Dubuque Women's Society. The hospital initially run by the SISTERS OF CHARITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (BVM) was later torn down and replaced with COLUMBIA ACADEMY.

The Civil War exposed great needs in medicine. On the positive side, by the 1860s many 18th-century medical theories, like humoral theory which proposed that illness was caused by the imbalance of humors (blood, yellow bile, black pile and phlegm) had been disproved. Chloroform, introduced as an anesthetic in 1846, was widely used when operating on soldiers to reduce pain during surgery. According to Union medical records over 80,000 surgical procedures took place over the course of the war with fewer than 300 done without the use of anesthesia. Despite this, serious studies of anatomy, bacteriology, and epidemiology were years in the future. While physicians had to attend medical school, in some cases this could be completed through book learning without a practicum and observations. This resulted in both Confederation and Union armies being staffed with medical personnel lacking on-the-job experience. (47)

Given the numbers of troops, there were not enough surgeons. Most regiments were staffed by a surgeon and an assistant surgeon with the responsibility for as many as 1,000 troops. On July 21, 1861, 36,000 troops fought at the First Battle of Manassas. The battle resulted in 860 soldiers killed and more than 3,500 wounded on missing. Since the hospitals were not established until the battle had started, Confederate medical facilities were located four miles to the south of Manassas Junction while Union facilities were seven miles to the east in Centreville. (48)

In view of the need to have experienced surgeons always available in May and June of 1862 Doctor Hunter McGuire and several other surgeons drew up a document. Followed the remainder of the war, it made medical personnel neutral: (49)

                   We surgeons and assistant surgeons, United States Army, now prisoners of war in this
                   place do give out parole of honor on being unconditionally released to report in
                   person, singly or collectively to the Secretary of War in Washington City as such and
                   that we will use out best efforts that the same number of medical officers of the the
                   Confederate State Army now prisoners or may hereafter be taken be released on the same
                   terms. And furthermore, we will be on our honor to use our best efforts to have this
                   principle established--the unconditional release of all medical officers taken prisoners
                   of war hereafter.

In October 1862 Governor Kirkwood visited the camp after being told of complaints about patient care. A report at Camp Franklin indicated that 193 men had been admitted to the camp hospital, 163 had returned to duty, seven were convalescing, one had been discharged, eight had died and 14 were still in the hospital quite ill.

The sheer size of the number of wounded as early as July 21, 1861 at the First Battle of Bull Run forced the realization that there was no system in place to quickly remove them to care facilities. Responding to wide-spread complaints, the Lincoln administration placed William Hammond in the position of surgeon general. He appointed Jonathan Letterman, later known as the "Father of Battlefield Medicine, as the medical director of the Army of the Potomac in June, 1862. (50)

Letterman began his work to apply a new system of organization at the field dressing station. Here, as close to the battle as possible, caregivers administered first aid and sorted casualties according to the seriousness of their wound--slight, mild, severe, mortal. Slight wounds were treated and the patient returned to his unit. Mildly wounded included excessive bleeding. These were removed from the battlefield after the serious were removed. Seriously wounded included those missing limbs, showing serious bleeding, or major trauma to arms or legs. These were transported to field hospitals for immediate care. Those with moral wounds were given morphine for pain and made as comfortable as possible.

After the initial treatment, the wounded were sent to semi-permanent field hospitals in barns or large houses. This was where amputations were made. Estimates of about 60,000 amputations were made during the Civil War with anesthesia used in about 95% of the cases. (51)

By 1864 the Letterman Plan had become the official medical response for the U. S. Army. The Confederate Army adopted a similar plan. Hospitals, however, were not readily available. When the Civil War began the U.S. Army had only one 40-bed hospital in Kansas. Union and Confederate surgeon generals were amazed by the European pavilion hospital design. This featured long-narrow wards with many windows to promote cross-ventilation. Attention was also given to the location of heat sources, the placement of patient beds, and the amount of space given to each patient. The Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond, Virginia was constructed in October 1861 and was the first American hospital to use this plan. It contained 150 pavilions and 4,000 beds. West Philadelphia U.A. General Hospital followed in June 1862 with 3,500 beds in the pavilion style and 150 tents around the building to handle the overflow. (52)

Prior to the Civil War, nursing was considered "man's work" and too "intimate" a profession for women. The massive numbers of wounded, however, brought in thousands of nurses like Clara Barton, Dorthea Dix, and Susie King Taylor. By the end of the war, it was estimated that approximately 20% of all nurses were women. (53)

If the wounded were well enough to be transported further, they were moved to larger brigade or general hospitals in nearby towns. Large numbers of wounded were moved by ambulances, trains, or steamer ships. If a patient was fortunate enough to reach this final stage, their changes of surviving rose to 92%. (54)

Dubuque-Herald, January 11, 1863. Image courtesy: Diane Harris
Dubuque-Herald, January 16, 1863. Image courtesy: Diane Harris

By 1863, Camp Franklin housed 2,000 soldiers with another 1,500 living in private homes and hotels in the city. The buildings were dismantled and sold at an auction in January, 1863, for $1,564. (55)

The search for more soldiers led to the movement to form an Irish regiment in Dubuque. Service for one year would grant citizenship to foreigners. Those who joined were attached to General Corcoran's Irish Brigade.

Dubuque became recognized as one of the Union's best recruiting centers. The city filled its city enlistment quotas throughout the war without resorting to conscription. Lieutenant Dewey, one of the most successful recruiters, enlisted five hundred men in one year. Joseph B. Dorr earlier in the war helped recruit a regiment after he had escaped from a confederate prison.

An important and often overlooked story of the Civil War was the use of AFRICAN AMERICANS as troops. On July 27, 1863 the United States War Department organized the 1st Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry A.D. (African Descent) when there were probably less than fifteen hundred persons of African descent living in Iowa. There were enough recruits to form six companies, although all companies included men from adjoining states. An additional four companies were recruited in Missouri. The total strength of the regiment when the last man was recruited on December 3, 1863 was 911. (56) The Union Army eventually filled 138 regiments of African American soldiers. (57) In 1863 it had been reported by the Dubuque Herald that Secretary of War Stanton intended to raise an army of two hundred thousand "negroes to subdue the South." (58)

Editor Dennis MAHONY reported incorrectly that the Lincoln administration had for nearly a year been trying to "recruit a few negro regiments" and that the effort had met with only moderate success. "The few who are claimed to be in the service have been dragged into it by force and kept there at the point of the bayonet."

The Herald's anti-black position intensified in 1863 when Stilson Hutchins became the acting editor in Mahony's absence. In an editorial on April 5, 1863 he wrote:

         Who wants to vote the (XXX)-emancipation ticket? Who
         wants Iowa covered with indolent blacks? Answer at the 
         polls. (59)

Despite of the anti-black sentiment of the Herald, or perhaps because of it, Albert Linzy, age 22, African American, and living in Dubuque, enlisted on September 12, 1863 as a Third Sergeant. He was mustered out on October 11, 1863 and died of disease on October 26, 1863 in Keokuk, Iowa where he was buried in the Oakland Cemetery. Of the 40,000 African American men who died in the war, 30,000 like Linzy perished from infection or disease.

The Herald continued its claim that recruitment efforts of African Americans had failed by 1864. In addition, the claim was made that the effort had spread "division and discord" in the North, operated as a barrier to the exchange of prisoners, and led to cruelties in violation of the rules of war.

         ...negro troops are more expensive--less valuable and possess less
         power than white soldiers. And when the administration candidly
         reviews the whole subject, and rises above a mere party view of the
         matter it will be constrained to abandon the whole scheme of negro
         soldiers as visionary and disastrous. 

The opposition to black recruitment, however, was not shared by all. U. S. Senator Grimes of Iowa declared as early as 1861 that he "would see a negro shot down in battle rather than the son of a Dubuquer."

The demonstrated quality of African American troops possibly did more than anything else to discredit the detractors. At the Battle of Milliken's Bend in Mississippi, black Louisiana troops fought heroically alongside the 23rd Iowa Infantry. Governor Kirkwood, in a speech following the battle with a twisted bit of logic, admitted that every black soldier killed had saved the life of a white Iowan. Kirkwood went on to contrast black loyalty to the Union to Copperhead disloyalty. Regardless of their loyalty, African Americans almost never rose above the rank of sergeant major. In the Civil War, only 80 African Americans ever became commissioned officers.

Iowa's African American regiment was stationed near Helena, Arkansas--a site outside the usual scenes of war but subject to guerilla fighting. By the end of the Civil War, an estimated 179,000 African American men (10% of the Union Army) had served in the United States Army and another 19,000 had served in the Navy.

When the government issued a call for more troops, each state was given a quota to fill based on its population. The number of volunteers would be subtracted from the quota and the difference would be drafted. If a draftee volunteered before the final muster, he avoided the stigma of compulsory service and was eligible to collect a bounty of $100 from the federal government plus additional bounties from the state and local communities. In total, the bounties could exceed $500, which was about the average yearly wage in those days. States considered it a matter of pride to fill their quotas without having to resort to the draft.

The Dubuque Herald had another view of the draft: (60)

                     The fairest way to raise 
                     troops is by drafting. There 
                     are at least a hundred partisan 
                     leaders who are urging every 
                     Democrat they meet to go to war, 
                     but not one of whom volunteers 
                     himself to go. It is amusing to 
                     see our Stouts, Langworthys, 
                     Allisons, Adamses and other leading 
                     Republicans running to and fro urging 
                     their poorer neighbors to go to war. 
                     If they will not, let them take their 
                            Herald, July 30, 1862 

A draftee could gain an exemption by paying a fee or by hiring a substitute. Negotiating for substitutes was perfectly honorable. Fees were governed largely by the availability of men willing to serve as a substitute. A substitute usually got as much as a fee of $300.00. Therefore substitute could receive his fee of $300.00 plus volunteer bonus of $100.00, totaling $400.00 which was about equal to a year's average rural income. The bounty system created a large number of unscrupulous persons called "bounty jumpers." These men would enlist to collect their bounty, then desert and enlist somewhere else and collect another bounty. The Dubuque Democratic Herald in 1863 appealed to the Board of Supervisors to create a fund through the sale of bonds or otherwise to provide an exemption for those who could not provide the money for themselves. The Board created a committee of five members to investigate the matter.

Image courtesy: Telegraph Herald

Interest in the war led to pages of reports in the local newspapers. One of the more unique informative displays of the news was Chesley's "Panorama of the War." The painted canvas was slowly unrolled to display events in chronological order. As the display moved about the nation, scenes were added of recent events. Between performances in Dubuque, the audience was entertained by the Germania Band. (61)

Iowa was the only state to organize a group of older men for service; the GREYBEARD REGIMENT included several Dubuque residents.

Soldiers from Dubuque were also active in the final campaigns of the war. They saw action along the Rio Grande, in Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee.

Recruitment became more difficult. Obtaining substitutes to avoid conscription became more common with offers ranging from $200 to $400. A brokers' association was formed in Dubuque to furnish substitutes. Each member paid $250 to have a substitute for one year. If the member was not drafted, his fee remained in the association. In 1864 a special tax was levied by the Board of Supervisors to relieve Dubuque County of the draft. A total of $125,000 was appropriated to secure volunteers who would enlist giving credit to Dubuque County. Scores of men flooded to Dubuque although each was to be paid no more than $400. The total amount paid out reached $115,800.

Despite the stories of death and destruction, humor about the war was to be found in local newspapers. The following article appeared in the Dubuque Democratic Herald: (62)

     Enlistments. The Dubuque bar is responding promptly
     to the 100 days' call, and will be largely represented
     in the new companies. We find on the Muster roll of 
     the Greys the names of Messrs. Harvey, Edmonds, Doud, 
     and Beach. Several more, it is thought, will be added.
     We shall expect to hear a good account of these
     disciples of Blackstone, for if they sustain the
     reputation of the profession, they will make prompt,
     bold and desperate charges.  

Under the leadership of Mrs. James Langworthy, Mrs. Henry L. Stout, and Mrs. J. W. Taylor, the Ladies' Volunteer Labour Society sent boxes of clothing and food to soldiers in the field throughout the war. The Society met in the basement of the Baptist Church. Annual membership dues were twenty-five cents. Donations of knitting, sewing, money, and food were accepted. Christmas dinner was provided every soldier's family in Dubuque in 1863. (63)

Fund-raising was an important activity of the Society. In addition to the dues, the Society served breakfast and refreshments at the Iowa State Agricultural Fair in 1864. This activity earned the Society $1,000. Collections were also taken in church. Local festivals and balls earned hundreds of dollars.

Other community groups established to help in the war effort included the Christian Commission Society. Organized on November 21, 1864, the agency met the needs of the church in distributing food and spiritual needs to military personnel. Representatives were sent to every command with supplies and Bibles. Direct benefit to the troops also came from the NORTHERN IOWA SANITARY FAIR and LINT SOCIETIES.

Public sponsored relief for soldiers vs relief for their families was quite different. Many considered relief to a soldier as something earned and therefore respectable. There was a definite thought, however, that relief to a soldier's family only encouraged poor habits and was a financial drain on the community. Solon LANGWORTHY noted in his diary on August 4, 1862:

               The family of soldiers are begging 
               throughout the city with less success 
               then (sic) circus men meet with. Shame 
               on the Community who Suffer the defenders 
               of the Constitution to Complain that their 
               Families are not Provided for while they
               are Batling (sic) for Liberty + Law.  (64)
Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald

In 1864, Iowa passed its first law requiring special arrangements for family assistance in each county. In failing to define all soldiers' families as worthy of relief, however, the law only supported methods already in effect. Local officials could still reward or withhold relief on their own perceptions of worthiness. (65) By 1864 "the present high rates of living make it impossible to support large families on a soldier's pay of $13 per month." (66) The failure of the Volunteer Fund Board by 1862 threw the question of family support to the board of supervisors. They initially considered a special appropriation or special tax but rejected both. (67) Even the Ladies Aid Society as early as 1862 appointed a visiting investigative committee to determine whether aid to a soldier's family was appropriate.

Soldiers continually pleaded for better means of providing for their families. In 1861 Iowa's Senator Grimes convinced Congress to pass an Allotment Act. Under its conditions, each state had three agents to travel "from time to time" among Iowa's troops collecting money to deliver to families back home. It was left to the officers, however, whether their regiments would participate in the system. In response, soldiers offered to resign so that they could return home. Others deserted and faced court martial. "Rather than provide an example of a system that left women dependent upon men, the lesson learned by many was self-dependency. Government should not interrupt this dependency even in the case of soldiers' families."

News of the occupation of Charleston by Union troops and the surrender of General Robert E. Lee were causes of joyous celebration. Flags were displayed on February 22, 1865, to celebrate the Charleston victory, and Captain Oliver Perry SHIRAS ordered a salute fired with one hundred guns in WASHINGTON PARK.

Confederate discharge paper. Photo courtesy: Arkansas Post National Memorial.

News of Lee's surrender reached Dubuque on April 8, 1865. Church bells pealed the glorious news. The bell on the FIRST CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST rang so long it cracked. Flags were displayed everywhere. Those excessively patriotic dressed themselves in national colors and paraded through the streets.

                     We grab our plates and cups, and wait for no second invitation. 
                     We each get a piece of meat and a potato, a chunk of bread and 
                     a cup of coffee with a spoonful of brown sugar in it. Milk and 
                     butter we buy, or go without. We settle down, generally in groups, 
                     and the meal is soon over… We save a piece of bread for the last, 
                     with which we wipe up everything, and then eat the dish rag. 
                     Dinner and breakfast are alike, only sometimes the meat and potatoes 
                     are cut up and cooked together, which makes a really delicious stew. 
                     Supper is the same, minus the meat and potatoes. 
                            Lawrence VanAlstyne, Union Soldier, 128th New York
                            Volunteer Infantry

In the early stages of the war, the Union soldiers, generally unaccustomed to cooking at home, benefited from supervision by the United States Sanitary Commission. Commonly known as "The Sanitary," it gave the soldiers' health and nutrition a top priority. Volunteers were trained to find and distribute food to soldiers stationed in the field. The volunteers were expected to be knowledgeable in determining which foods were available during each season, and how to preserve food items for transportation and storage. (68)

At the start of the war, James M. Sanderson, a member of the Sanitary who was also a hotel operator in New York, believed that his experience would be of value to the Union. With the help of New York Governor Edwin D. Morgan, Sanderson visited soldiers in the field to teach them simple cooking techniques. He started with the camps of the 12th New York, as they were deemed most deficient in the proper culinary knowledge.

On July 22, 1861, just after the Union's loss in the First Battle of Bull Run, Sanderson approached the War Department with a proposal. He asked that a few soldiers in each company be expertly trained in the essential basics of cooking. For every 100-man company, the skilled cook would be appointed two privates; one position would be permanent and the other would rotate among the men of the company. The skilled cook would be given the rank of Cook Major and receive a monthly salary of $50. It would be the Cook Major's responsibility to ration the food, prepare it, and delegate tasks to the company cooks. Sanderson's proposal reached the Military Affairs Committee of the U.S. Senate. Although they did not follow his instructions specifically, Sanderson received a commission and was named Captain in the Office of the Commissary General of Subsistence from the War Department.

Sanderson wrote the first cookbook to be distributed to the military. The book was titled: Camp Fires and Camp Cooking; or Culinary Hints for the Soldier: Including Receipt for Making Bread in the Portable Field Oven Furnished by the Subsistence Department. Sanderson did describe several techniques such as suspending pots over a campfire, that made cooking more convenient. He was also clear about his feelings for carefully cleaning eating utensils. He was often quoted as saying, "Better wear out your pans with scouring than your stomachs with purging." (69)

A typical diet during the Civil War was very basic. Union soldiers were fed pork or beef, usually salted and boiled to extend the shelf life, coffee, sugar, salt, vinegar, and sometimes dried fruits and vegetables if they were in season. Hardtack, a type of biscuit made from unleavened flour and water, was common. After baking, hardtack was dried to increase its shelf life.

Soldiers in the field carried rations in bags called haversacks. Made of canvas, the haversack folded around its contents, anything the soldiers needed to survive for a few days on their own, and was held together with buckling straps and completed with two shoulder straps.

The Union's victory has been credited to the leaders like General Ulysses S. Grant and President Abraham Lincoln. Elias Nash, a writer for The Tasting Table in 2022 suggested that perhaps the most powerful force in determining the nation's fate was its food. In an article entitled "The Canned Rations Fed to Soldiers During the Civil War," Nash described a fortunate series of events that aided the North during this period.)

Nash writes that National Public Radio (NPR) found a significant imbalance in available rations was critical to the ultimate outcome of the Civil War. Union blockades prevented the Confederate forces from acquiring such as items as coffee and flour, and food shortages ultimately plagued the South for the duration of the war. Circumstances were better for the Union Army.

The Union soldiers did have access to coffee, but their food was hardly appealing. NPR found their rations consisted largely of salt pork and hardtack, which were frequently infested with insects. Worcestershire sauce became popular with soldiers as a way to disguise the taste of spoiled meat. However, Civil War soldiers did fare better than the veterans of earlier wars because they had access to a relatively new technology, one that changed the nature of food preservation for everyone: canning.

The canning process was developed by French inventor Nicolas Appert, who developed it in 1809. Appert was responding to a plea from the French government asking for civilians to help them find a way to preserve food for the military during the violence of the French Revolution. The close ties between canned goods and warfare continued into the American Civil War half a century later, at which point other innovative minds were exploring the full potential of canning.

One of the most notable canned good to emerge from the Civil War was condensed milk. The process for condensing and canning milk was patented by Dr. Gail Borden of Connecticut in 1853. Borden had previously experimented with such varied inventions as amphibious vehicles and refrigeration, but when it came to condensed milk, his timing was perfect. Condensed milk was so valued by soldiers during the Civil War that Borden could not keep up with demand and had to sell licenses to other dairy companies allowing them to use his patented process. War was a boon to Northern food industry.

The conflict also popularized canned fruit and meat. The powerful American beef industry experienced a major surge in Chicago, where businessmen Gustavus Swift and P.D. Armour each opened massive slaughterhouses they referred to as "disassembly plants," hiring every butcher they could find in the area to produce canned beef for Union soldiers.

In Indianapolis, Gilbert Van Camp, a former tinsmith, began canning fruits and vegetables in 1861. He was also the innovator of canned pork and beans, a classic of all tinned meals. Like the meatpackers of Chicago, Van Camp obtained a lucrative contract with the federal government to supply food for the Union Army. Van Camp's Pork and Beans, as well as Gail Borden's Borden Dairy, remained popular into modern times. (70)

Few knew what to expect from the returning veterans. "Great God!" the Iowa Religious Newsletter, a newspaper founded in the city during the war by a group of pro-war ministers, quoted an army chaplain in July 1862.

       I tremble at the result of this war, 
       lest tens of thousands of the valiant 
       defenders of our country be turned 
       into men of vile speech and ruined 
       character and then turned loose to 
       curse the country their arms have 

“We’ve tended to see soldiers in the 1860s as stoic and heroic—monuments to duty, honor and sacrifice,” said Lesley Gordon, editor of Civil War History, a leading academic journal that devoted a special issue to wartime trauma. “It’s taken a long time to recognize all the soldiers who came home broken by war, just as men and women do today.”

Counting casualties and diagnosing their afflictions presented considerable challenges. The Civil War occurred when modern psychiatric terms and understanding did not exist. Men who exhibited what today would be termed war-related anxieties were thought to have character flaws or unknown physical problems. Constricted breath and palpitations—a condition called “soldier’s heart” or “irritable heart”—was blamed on exertion or knapsack straps drawn too tightly across soldiers’ chests.

Civil War combat was concentrated and personal, featuring large-scale battles in which bullets rather than bombs or missiles caused over 90 percent of the wounds. Most troops fought on foot, marching in tight formation and firing at relatively close range, as they had in Napoleonic times. By the 1860s, they carried newly accurate and deadly rifles and used improved cannons. Units were often cut down en masse, showering survivors with the blood, brains and body parts of their comrades. Many soldiers regarded the aftermath of battle as landscapes so covered with bodies that a person could cross them without touching the ground.

These conditions contributed to what Civil War doctors called “nostalgia,” a centuries-old term for despair and homesickness that soldiers became listless and emaciated and sometimes died. Military and medical officials recognized nostalgia as a serious “camp disease,” but generally blamed it on “feeble will,” “moral turpitude” and inactivity in camp. Few sufferers were discharged or granted furloughs, and the recommended treatment was drilling and shaming of “nostalgic” soldiers—or, better yet, “the excitement of an active campaign,” meaning combat.

The anti-war "Dubuque Herald" and the pro-war "Dubuque Times", each expressed similar concerns. Dennis Mahony, regularly worried in print about the creation of a "subservient army" of "rapine and plunder" to do Lincoln's bidding. He tied this idea to a more general loss of the "sturdy manliness which [once] characterized the citizen of the United States." The "Times" offered this advice to the soldiers: "We would earnestly say to all of our noble-hearted volunteers ... [you] may come home maimed for life in body and limb, but do not return with crippled character, and poisoned faculties."

When veterans of the Civil War returned home, one of the barriers many faced was opiate dependency. As historian Jonathan S. Jones wrote, this was compounded by a culture that saw addiction as emasculating enslavement.

Prior to the Civil War, American doctors prescribed opiates, including opium, morphine, and laudanum, for a vast range of conditions, from painful injuries to loose bowels to fever. But doctors, and many members of the general public, were well aware of the dangers of the drugs. An 1849 article in Scientific American described addicted men as “ready to sell wife and children, body and soul for the continuance of his wretched and transient delight.”

Over the years, opiate use could lead to exhaustion, impotence, physical decline, and financial ruin. Doctors, however, also recognized that the drugs were the best solution they had for many serious problems. Particularly on the battlefields, they had little choice but to offer opiates to soldiers who otherwise would have been useless due to pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or other weakening conditions. Some soldiers took opiates before battle to calm their nerves.

Thousands of veterans became addicted to morphine and opium used to treat everything from painful injuries to diarrhea. Under the rules of nineteenth-century masculinity, the inability to endure pain was coded as weakness. “Like habitual drunkenness, to be ‘enslaved’ to opiates was to be dependent on the drugs, a condition vastly different to widely held ideals of masculinity and morality, which demanded independence, self-master, and sobriety. Ongoing use was facilitated by the ease of obtaining hypodermic needles which became available with the Sears and Roebuck catalog selling heroin by mail order. (71)

Stigma often left veterans excluded from pensions and other benefits. Housing for soldiers excluded applicants for the use of any intoxicant. Some opiate users slipped through the screening, but if they were later discovered, they might be branded insane and committed to mental asylums. A glaring incident took place after an Indiana veteran named Clinton Smith died of an overdose in 1884. Congress awarded his widow a special pension. President Grover Cleveland, however, vetoed it, condemning Smith as an “intemperate” man. Many fellow veterans and their friends and family members were horrified by the president’s disrespect, but generally public opinion sided with Cleveland. Addiction made Smith the kind of man few could empathize with, even after his death.

The concern about the effects of military service upon the men was far different, ironically, than the feeling prior to the war when military service had been considered a potential cure for problems in Dubuque society. "We are becoming emphatically a nomadic race," an editor at the NORTHWESTERN FARMER AND AGRICULTURAL JOURNAL argued in 1860. He concluded that "our social system is breaking up" as a result. "No people can be a wandering, and at the same time a civilized, intelligent and virtuous people."

A perceived decline in the local work ethic became another area of concern. A female contributor to the Northwestern Farmer wondered when "labor" had come to be "looked upon as degrading." "Where," she lamented, "is the vital energy, the vigor, and strength of mind, that the generation before us possessed? Are not the wan features of the Dyspeptic and the Consumptive a strong evidence that they have departed with the simple and industrious habits of our forefathers?" A contributor to the Times added that "if we mean to prosper again, we must pull off our coats and go to work; dispense with unnecessary help; do away with luxury; closely watch our business; till the earth and explore the mines."

Geographic mobility and a decline in the work ethic caused less comment and concern than the habits and morals of the city's boys and young men. Despite their strong political differences, the city's newspapers agreed on this issue and developed a catalogue of sins. These included smoking, chewing tobacco, swearing, drinking, playing billiards, and throwing stones and snowballs at passersby, as well as actual crimes like arson, larceny, and assault. An assistant Times editor found it...

            painful ... to witness the gradual 
            demoralization going forward among 
            youths of our fair city. These were 
            "not the miserable 'brats' from the 
            haunts of vice and iniquity, but the 
            hopeful sons of our bankers, merchants, 
            professional men, christian [sic] men, 
           respectable men in every way. 

The Express & Herald editors argued, "The hopes of our country are centered in the young men of the nation. If they grow up depraved, vicious and ignorant," as the youth of Dubuque seemed to be, "they will give their character to society and to government." Military service had seemed to offer just the solution to the "unrestrained independence" critics noted among the city's young men and boys. The Times and the Iowa Religious Newsletter regularly stressed "the wholesome restraints of military discipline" and stressed the value of the army in teaching "systematic habits," "the delights of hard work," "obedience," and "Puritan discipline." The Times even promoted establishing a local military academy to spread the benefits of military discipline to those too young or not inclined to join the army."

The Civil War decade marked Dubuque's growth into an important manufacturing city. The 1860 Census ranked the 102 cities in the United States with populations over 10,000 according to their manufacturing output. With a population of 13,000, Dubuque was the 80th largest city in the country in 1860 and ranked 93rd in manufacturing. By the time of the 1880 census, Dubuque was the 70th largest manufacturing center in the country despite slipping to 81st in population. Dubuque's gain of twenty-three manufacturing businesses compared favorably with Detroit's gain of twenty-seven.

One of the unexpected results of the Civil War was a growing feeling that Catholics could be trusted. Originally the target of "Nativists," "Know-Nothings," and the KU KLUX KLAN, Catholics benefited from the role nuns took in service to both sides during war. Catholic nuns made up twenty-two percent of all nurses. This translated to 580 sisters coming from twelve religious orders. The most, more than 300 nuns, came from the Daughters of Charity, the largest order in the nation. Some nuns turned their convents into hospitals or took over disease-plagued hospitals. They stayed with their patients even after medical staff fled. (72)

The numbers of wounded quickly surpassed the 3,500 at the First Battle of Manassas. There were 17,300 at Antietam; 13,700 at Fredericksburg; and 33,200 at Gettysburg. Increasing casualties, exposure to the elements, lack of healthy food and staff shortages led to a problem even more dangerous than fighting on the battlefield--disease. Combining wounded with different exposure to disease and immunity with unsanitary conditions led, over the course of the Civil War, to two-thirds of the number of deaths being caused by disease and infection from dysentery, typhoid, measles, and smallpox.

Photo courtesy: Museum of Funeral Arts

Thomas Holmes’ United States Patent No. 39, 291, “Improvement in Receptacles for Dead Bodies." What would commonly today be called a "body bag," these were rolled up and carried by the soldiers who unrolled them to sleep on keeping them off damp ground. When crossing streams, soldiers who could not swim inflated their bag and with three friends holding onto the other handles used it as a flotation device.

Modern embalming got its start during the Civil War. Dr. Thomas Holmes received a commission as a captain in the Army Medical Corps and was assigned to Washington, D.C. where he embalmed over 4,000 soldiers and officers. President Lincoln took a great interest in embalming and directed the Quartermaster Corps to utilize embalming to allow the return of Union dead to their hometowns for proper burial. When he realized the commercial potential of embalming, Holmes resigned his commission and began offering embalming to the public for $100. He also created a fluid that could be used for embalming and sold it to other physicians for $3 per gallon. The chemicals were a mixture of arsenic, zinc and mercuric chlorides, creosote, turpentine and alcohol. After the Civil War, embalming fell into disuse because of lack of demand and few trained to do the procedure. "Undertakers" of the day limited their efforts to ice to ward off decomposition long enough to have a funeral. (73)

On May 5, 1868 Gen. John A. Logan commander-in-chief of the GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC (G. A. R.), issued an order directing that on May 30th the organization, throughout the United States, should decorate the graves of soldiers who died during the war. On that day a squad of cavalry assembled at WASHINGTON PARK at 8:00 a.m. Under the command of Lieut. Col. Pollock, they proceeded to cemeteries at Key West, Center Grove, Rockdale, and on Kelly's Bluffs, to cover the graves of soldiers with flowers. Of those who died and were returned to Dubuque for burial, ninety were buried at LINWOOD CEMETERY, four were buried in the German Catholic cemetery, eight were buried in the THIRD STREET CEMETERY, seven were buried at Key West, five at Rockdale, seven at Center Grove and one at Asbury. Five of the graves were unmarked.

At 2:00 p.m., soldiers, citizens and the Germania Band assembled at Washington Park. Horsemen, footmen, and people in carriages all carried bouquets and wreaths of flowers. The order of procession was: First, mounted men; then followed the band; then footmen, and then carriages. The procession as it passed the DUBUQUE CITY HALL consisted of forty-seven mounted men, seventy-seven men on foot, and thirty-five carriages. A large number of carriages, as well as citizens on foot, preceded the procession to the Linwood. The order of march was: Down Locust street to First; along First to Main; up Main to Eleventh; down Eleventh to Clay; up Clay and Couler avenue to Eagle Point, and then to Linwood. Following a speech and the decoration of the graves with flowers, the groups returned home.

Decoration Day was originally intended as a memorial to those who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century the dedication had been extended to all those who died in military service.

Veterans of Civil War battles often held reunions. In 1892 such an event in Dubuque was attended by James Hill, a resident of Cascade and the chaplain of the 21st Iowa, who captured three Confederates. For his heroism, Hill began one of four Protestant chaplains awarded the MEDAL OF HONOR.

In October 1893 Dubuque's monument to her Civil War dead was erected in Linwood after twelve years of collecting funds totaling $3,500. Representatives of Passmore and Company of Chicago, the company that created the monument, came to Dubuque for the dedication. The 21-foot tall monument faced south with the soldier depicted wearing the uniform of 1862. On each of the four sides of the capstone on which the statue stood was a medallion representing one of the services involved in the war: crossed sabers for the cavalry, crossed cannon for the artillery, crossed muskets for the infantry, and anchors for the navy. The dedicating inscription on the south facing base stone read: "On fame's eternal camping ground, their silent tents are spread." The monument was dedicated on November 5, 1893. (74)

Iowans constructed monuments as mourning sites although many slain soldiers were buried in the South at the expense of the federal government. By February 1866, 333 Iowan were buried in the federal cemetery at Helena, Arkansas; 302 at Little Rock, Arkansas; and 147 at Andersonville, Georgia. The interest in monuments peaked in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries.

Interest in the Civil War continued to draw audiences. In 1885 the United States Panorama Company exhibited a large panorama of the Gettysburg battlefield at Clark's Rink on Main between 9th and 10th STREETS. In the same year, another consignment of tombstones furnished by the government to mark the graves of soldiers arrived at the store of Healey & Christman. Friends of relatives of the soldiers named on the stones (and mentioned in the newspaper) were asked to get them and place them in position so that everything would be ready by Decoration Day. In those cases where there were no relatives or friends or for those deceased whose relatives had no money for the labor, veterans provided the manpower.

Shiloh memorial to Iowa troops killed in the battle.

In 1895 survivors of the Battle of Shiloh returned to the site to help the national commission locate where different regiments fought. The passage of thirty years made the task nearly impossible. Boards were placed at different locations on the battlefield to allow former commanders to indicate where their soldiers had been at different times of the day. The commission began its survey of the battlefield on April 4, 1895 and was expected to complete its work in six months when the site became a national park. (75)

Although hostility towards the South continued after the end of the war, there were early examples of reconciliation. A meeting was held in Dubuque in August 1866 to plan for southern relief of widows and orphans. A total of four hundred dollars was quickly raised. In 1883 members of the First Iowa Infantry which had suffered 154 killed, wounded or missing out of 800 troops at the Battle of Wilson's Creek in Missouri accepted an invitation to return to the scene of battle. The occasion was the unveiling of a statue to Commander Nathaniel Lyon who died in the fighting. It was reported that the Iowans mingled happily with their former foes recounting the fighting.

In 1928 Dubuque still had twenty living veterans of the Civil War. (76) Many visited Linwood Cemetery on Decoration Day. Later called Memorial Day after the nation had been involved in other wars, the event was originally set aside by the GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC (G. A. R.) to pay respects for those who had died in this battle or afterwards.

An account of Dubuque's role in the Civil War often leaves the actions of Dennis Mahony or the Copperheads as the only representatives of the anti-war or anti-Northern response. The City of Dubuque contributed four sons of the most prominent local figures to the defense of the Confederate States of America. These were Junius Lackland HEMPSTEAD, the son of Iowa's first governor; George Jones and Charles Scott Dodge JONES, the sons of George Wallace JONES, and lastly; Daniel O'Connell QUIGLEY, one son of Dubuque's first Justice of the Peace, a founding father, trustee, and a treasurer of the city.

On October 4, 2014 a ceremony at MOUNT OLIVET CEMETERY was held honoring the military service of the Jones brothers. Participating in the program were several Sons of Confederate Veterans, an organization dedicated to preserving a factual history of the Southern soldier and sailor. The Iowa division of the organization had researched and documented more than 225 Confederate veterans buried in Iowa.

CIVIL WAR DIARY. One of the celebrated Civil War veterans was Andrew Young MCDONALD. An abridgement of his diary appeared in the Telegraph Herald on March 12, 1961. (77)

    Left in the evening on steamboat Alahambra for Davenport.
    Arrived in Davenport April 24 and were escorted to our
    armory by a Davenport company.

After a little more than a week of drilling, McDonald left for Keokuk on May 5th aboard a steamboat. In Keokuk, the soldiers were sworn into the service of the United States government and were issued uniforms. On June 13th they left Keokuk by steamboat for Hannibal, Missouri. The first action seen by McDonald took place in Macon, Missouri on June 15th.

     Some of our company captured a secession (Confederate) Drum and
     Fife. Four prisoners were taken. A pole was erected by the boys
     and a grand flag raising by the Union ladies of this place.

McDonald's company captured a Confederate flag at a hotel in Renick, Missouri on June 18th. From there, the company moved to near Booneville, Missouri. On June 26th, he wrote:

      Regiment got paid by State of Iowa for the three weeks they were
      in the service. Eight dollars each man.  Orders issued to have 
      all our things packed up only one valise allowed to each tent.

The First Iowa Regiment and the First Missouri Regiment during the first week in July marched for Springfield, Missouri where a number of skirmishes were occurring.

               Fight at Springfield (July 5th) reported with 1,200 
               secessionists and 20 Union men killed.

On July 7th, the Iowa and Missouri regiments joined forces from Kansas. On July 22nd, the combined force took Forsyth, Missouri.

                Town taken with only seven men killed. Marching in all a
                distance of 30 miles. Thirteen wounded. Got some coffee,
                lead and provisions in town. Swam creek crossed several
                times depth about three feet.

McDonald reported supplies were low by July 25th with only a cup of mush for rations. On August 2, McDonald reported on another skirmish:

                 After marching about 14 miles our advance guard met 
                 the advance guard of the enemy.  The cannon were 
                 placed in position on several of the surrounding 
                 heights. We deployed off in woods.  The cannon kept 
                 up a fire for about one hour. Our cavalry charged the 
                 enemy, 80 of whom killed.  Four of our men were killed 
                 and eight were wounded.

McDonald took part in his largest battle on August 10th and 11th.

                 We found the enemy ready to receive us with their
                 position well chosen.  The first gun was fired at
                 5 1/2 o'clock. The battle raged with unabating
                 fury for five hours.
A typical obituary of the time.

On August 11th one member of McDonald's company was killed and 20 including he were wounded. McDonald wrote of staying at a printer's home and being cared for with other wounded soldier. Confederate forces under General Price left the area, but others remained. McDonald wrote on August 28th:

                 Went out in the yard on crutches for the first
                 time. Sat on the grass for awhile and ate
                 dinner. Was told that our men left on the
                 battlefield had all been buried numbering 101.
                 About 12 or 15 are supposed to have been burned
                 by secessionists. Some 20 or 30 died from their
                 wounds--in all about 140 dead.

On August 31st, McDonald was told he was going home. He left Springfield on September 2 and was repeatedly stopped and searched. He left for Dubuque aboard the ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD on September 11th and reached Dubuque the following day.

On May 20, 1882 thirty-eight charter members in Dubuque formed the Hyde Clark Post for survivors of the war. Named for William Hyde CLARK the post eventually had 460 members which by 1930 had dwindled to thirteen.

This tombstone in St. John's Lutheran Cemetery marks the grave of the last Union soldier from Dubuque County.

An Old Soldiers home was established in 1864.

Artifacts of the Civil War have been discovered in Dubuque. In 1961 rifles, swords, bayonets and carbines were discovered in the basement of the CARNEGIE-STOUT PUBLIC LIBRARY. Once belonging to members of the Grand Army of the Republic, the collection was gradually returned to family members. The weapons illustrated the change taking place during the Civil War when a brass cartridge was being developed. The self-contained cartridge allowed soldiers to fire more quickly than those using muzzle-loading rifles. Muzzle-loaders, however, were still the most used rifles. It was not uncommon after battles to find rifles in the field that had been loaded more than once by nervous troops. If fired, these guns became bombs that exploded killing their user. (78)

Two yellowed, rolled scrolls containing a roster of Buchanan County Civil War veterans and picture of the two men who compiled it were found in an attic at 421 Locust in 1962. The two men pictured were Job Barnes and Gustoff Jakway who were members of the Iowa 27th Infantry which spent some time training at Camp Franklin. The command later served under Major-General William Tecumseh Sherman at Memphis, Tennessee and took part in the Vicksburg campaign. Barnes purchased the home in which the scrolls were found in 1881 and apparently stored them in his attic. (79)

The American Civil War continues to interest historians and the general public. In 2016 The Huntington, a museum and research center in southern California, launched a crowd-sourcing project to transcribe and decipher a collection of 15,922 Civil War telegrams between Abraham Lincoln, his Cabinet, and officers of the Union Army. This nearly complete archive of the papers of Thomas T. Eckert, the head of the military telegraph office of the War Department under Lincoln, was thought to have been destroyed after the war and included crucial correspondence that has never been published. (80)

Fascination with the discovery of "Confederate gold" was a recurrent theme through history. Stories of bullion being smuggled north and then lost in transit across the Great Lakes was the basis of a television program in the 2020s. The search for gold received a boost in 2022 with a discovery in Kentucky.

The "Great Kentucky Hoard" included hundreds of U.S. gold pieces dating to between 1840 and 1863, in addition to a handful of silver coins. According to the Numismatic Guaranty Co. (NGC), which certified the coins' authenticity, and GovMint, where the coins were sold, 95% of the hoard was composed of gold dollars, along with 20 $10 Liberty coins and eight $20 Liberty coins. The rarest is the 1863-P $20 1-ounce gold Liberty coin. Just one of these coins can go for six figures at auction, and the Great Kentucky Hoard boasts 18 of them. NGC's website notes that the $20 Liberty coin, which circulated from 1850 to 1907, was minted by the Treasury Department after gold was discovered in California. The $20 Liberty coins in the hoard are even rarer because they do not include "In God We Trust," which was added in 1866 after the end of the Civil War.

Ryan McNutt, a conflict archaeologist at Georgia Southern University, told Live Science in an email that "given the time period and the location in Kentucky, which was neutral at the time, it is entirely possible this was buried in advance of Confederate John Hunt Morgan's June to July 1863 raid."

Many wealthy Kentuckians were rumored to have buried huge sums of money to prevent it from being stolen by the Confederacy. James Langstaff left a letter saying he had buried $20,000 in coins on his property in Paducah, William Pettit buried $80,000 worth of gold coins near Lexington, and Confederate soldiers quarantined for measles reportedly stole payroll and hid it in a cave in Cumberland Gap. None of these caches has ever been recovered.

Considering the hoard coins are federal currency, McNutt said, it may be the result of a Kentuckian's dealings with the federal government — "dealings that it would be wise to conceal from a Confederate raiding party." Many Americans affected by the Civil War "became experienced with hiding goods and valuables," he said. (81)

The preservation of Civil War battlefields began in the 1890s with the creation of five battlefield-national parks. States declared some as their own memorials. Markers were placed at Manassas, Virginia; Vicksburg, Mississippi; and Stones River, Tennessee. By the 1950s, however, the Gettysburg battlefield was disappearing as land was developed into shopping malls, motels, residential areas and motels. The Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association may be said to be the first organized group to stop the destruction of these historical sites. For a donation, a "deed" to one square foot of the Gettysburg battlefield was given to the contributor who then deeded it to the federal government to create a memorial. A federal commission in 1993, however, reported that one-third of the 384 most significant Civil War battlefields were either gone or seriously depleted and that another one-third faced development threats. In 2020 perhaps the most successful preservation group in the United States is the American Battlefield Trust.

The observance of the Civil War Centennial in 1961, however, drew attention to the sectional differences that remained in the United States. Mrs. Edity W.McElroy, executive secretary of the Iowa Civil War Centennial Committee, informed an overflow crowd at the American Legion Building that Iowa's celebration of the centennial would have to be a "strictly grass roots" event. Faced with unsure legislative backing for funding, the state group would only be able to act in an advisory capacity. Civil War exhibits would be offered at the state fair. This was while Southern states earmarked an estimated $3.5 million for Civil War observances which were planned to last four years. Even Confederate currency had reached new high values. While not observing the centennial in a spirit of bitterness, Southern states anticipated that Northern tourist money would be flowing in their direction in large amounts.

A hauntingly beautiful picture in the Civil War section of Linwood Cemetery. Photo courtesy: Diane Harris

Another measure of relative regional interest in the Civil War can be measured in a comparison of the memberships in the SONS OF UNION VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR (6,574 in 2022) and that of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (30,000 in 2019).

For additional information, check these links:







1. McPherson, James. Battle Cry of Freedom. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988, p. 312

2. Ibid. p. 313

3. Oldt, Franklin T. History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Online: http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/franklin-t-oldt/history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl/page-29-history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl.shtml

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid.

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid. http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/franklin-t-oldt/history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl/page-30-history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl.shtml

9. "Tattered Dubuquers Paid the Full Price," Telegraph Herald, Oct. 16, 1859, p. 29. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=fItFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=0LwMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3801,5157564&dq=civil+war+dubuque&hl=en

10. Ibid.

11. Johnson, Russell Lee. Warriors Into Workers: The Civil War and the Formation of Urban-industrial Society in a Northern City. Fordham University Press, 2003. p. 61 Online: http://books.google.com/books?id=ahqtg54TXyEC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

12. "Forwarding Recruits," Dubuque Democratic Herald, January 16, 1864, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=A36e8EsbUSoC&dat=18640116&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

13. Gallagher, Mary Kevin. Seed/Harvest: A History of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa, Archdiocese of Dubuque Press, 1987, p. 19

14. Ibid.

15. Ibid., p. 20

16. Ibid., p. 21

17. Reber, Craig, "Dubuque Home for Military Training," Telegraph Herald, April 13, 2011, p. 6

18. Grossman, Dave, On Killing, The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and On Society, Back Bay Books, June 2009

19. Gallagher

20. "Uniforms of the Iowa Troops," The Iowa Journal of History and Politics, January 1918. Online: http://iagenweb.org/dubuque/military/Arms_CW.htm

21. Ibid.

22. Gallagher, p. 21

23. "Uniforms of the Iowa Troops," The Iowa Journal of History and Politics, January 1918, Dubuque County, IAGenWeb, Online: http://iagenweb.org/dubuque/military/uniforms_CW.htm

24. Ibid.

25. "Peter Wilson in the Civil War--The Training Period," Iowa City: The State Historical Society of Iowa, The Iowa Journal of History and Politics, April, 1942, p. 158

26. Ibid., p. 177

27. Hunter, John. "Alexander Simplot: Forgotten Bohemian," Wisconsin Magazine of History: Volume 41, number 4, Summer, 1958, p. 259. Online: http://content.wisconsinhistory.org/cdm/ref/collection/wmh/id/26084

28. Porter, Melvin. "Body Armor Vest in the American Civil War," Hub Pages, Online: http://melpor.hubpages.com/hub/Bulletproof-Vests-Were-Used-During-The-American-Civil-War

29. Ibid.

30. Ibid.

31. Ibid.

32. Ibid.

33. Johnson, p. 62

34. Catton, Bruce. Reflections on the Civil War, Garden City, NY, Doubleday and Company, 1981, p. 41

35. Ibid. p. 42

36. Ibid.

37. Johnson, p. 62

38."Battling Monotony," Hallowed Ground, American Battlefield Trust, Fall, 2021, p. 28

39. Q. David Bowers and Dennis Tucker, "Numismatic News," November 6, 2013, Online: http://www.numismaster.com/ta/numis/Article.jsp?ArticleId=27378

40. "Things You Might Not Know About Samuel Upham," Philly Mag. Online: http://www.phillymag.com/news/2017/03/24/11-things-might-not-know-samuel-upham/

41. Franklin, Ronald E. "The Counterfeiter Who Helped Win the Civil War," Owlcation. Online: https://owlcation.com/humanities/Samuel-Upham-The-Counterfeiter-Who-Helped-Win-The-Civil-War

42. "Things You Might Not Know..."

43 "Battle of Wilson's Creek." Online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Wilson%27s_Creek

44. "Peter Wilson," p. 168

45. Fact and Grave. "Francis J. Herron," Online: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?GRid=4842&page=gr

46. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copperhead_(politics)‎

47. Backus, Paige Gibbons, "A Fight for Life," Hallowed Ground, Summer 2021, Vol. 22 No. 2, p. 21

48. Ibid.

49. Ibid.

50. Shoaf, Dana B. "How Civil War Medical Developments Affect Us," Hallowed Ground, Spring 2004, p. 23

51. Ibid.

52. Shoaf, Dana B. "The Civil War Can Also be Credited with the Introduction of Women into the Medical Sphere,"

53. Ibid.

54. Ibid.

55. Renner, Beverly. "When 'Boys in Blue' Had Rendezvous Camp Here," Telegraph Herald, July 11, 1952, p. 31. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=b3VFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ubwMAAAAIBAJ&pg=5649,1872181&dq=camp+union+dubuque&hl=en

56. "1st Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry-African Descent," IaGenweb. Online: http://iagenweb.org/civilwar/regiment/infantry/01stA/history.htm

57. "List of United States Colored Troops Civil War Units," Wikipedia. Online: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Colored_Troops_Civil_War_units

58. "An Army of Two Hundred Thousand Blacks," Dubuque Herald, May 31, 1863, p. 2

58. "Editorial," Dubuque Herald, April 5, 1863, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18630405&printsec=frontpage&hl=e

59. Logan, Guy E. "Roster and Record of Iowa Troops in the Rebellion," Vol. 5 First Regiment Iowa African Infantry. IaGenWeb. Online: http://iagenweb.org/civilwar/books/logan/mil718.htm

60. "The Draft," Dubuque Democratic Herald, September 11, 1863, p. 1. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=A36e8EsbUSoC&dat=18630911&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

61. "The Panorama Tonight," Dubuque Democratic Herald, November 25, 1863, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=A36e8EsbUSoC&dat=18631125&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

62. "Enlistments," Dubuque Democratic Herald, May 12, 1864, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=A36e8EsbUSoC&dat=18640512&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

63. "Dubuque During the Civil War," Telegraph Herald, May 29, 1997, p. 5. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=xQZRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=wsAMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6614,6141606&dq=civil+war+dubuque&hl=en

64. "Soldiers' Wives," Dubuque Democratic Herald, September 16, 186 Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=A36e8EsbUSoC&dat=18640916&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

65. Johnson, Russell L. "A Debt Justly Due: the Relief of Civil War Soldiers and Their Families in Dubuque," The Annals of Iowa, State Historical Society of Iowa, Vol. 55, Number 3, p. 235 Online: http://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=10046&context=annals-of-iowa

66. Ibid. p. 226

67. Ibid.

68. Avey, Tori, "Civil War Cooking: What the Union Soldiers Ate," The History Kitchen, September 21, 2012, Online: https://www.pbs.org/food/the-history-kitchen/civil-war-cooking-what-the-union-soldiers-ate/

69. Ibid.

70. Ibid.

71. Nash, Elias, "The Canned Rations Fed Soldiers During the Civil War," Tasting Table, October 26, 2022

72. Fialka, John J. Sisters: Catholic Nuns and the Making of America. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2003, p. 61

73. Museum of Funeral Arts, Springfield, Illinois (no longer in operation)

74. "To The Honored Dead," Dubuque Daily Herald, October 27, 1893, p. 4

75. "Back From Shiloh," Dubuque Sunday Herald, April 4, 1895, p. 2

76. "Dubuque Still Has Twenty Veterans," Dubuque Telegraph Herald and Times Journal, May 30, 1928, p. 4. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=_apFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Gr0MAAAAIBAJ&pg=1474,5835924&dq=civil+war+dubuque&hl=en

77. McDonald Civil War Diary

78. Ingerson, Ralph. "Find Civil War Guns Here," Telegraph Herald, January 1, 1961, Dubuque News, p. 1

79. "Mystery of Scrolls Solved," Telegraph Herald, January 6, 1963, p. 11

80. The Huntington," Online: http://www.huntington.org/WebAssets/Templates/content.aspx?id=20927

81. Killgrove, Kristina, Kentucky Man Finds Over 700 Civil War-Era Coins Buried in his Cornfield Online: Livescience, July 9, 2023