About the State Historical Society > News > 2010

State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release June 25, 2010

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

New book profiles Iowa’s 57 Civil War Medal of Honor recipients

“Profiles of Valor” available Wednesday at Historical Building’s Iowa Museum Store

(DES MOINES) – The State Historical Society of Iowa announced today the release of a new book that profiles Iowa’s 57 Civil War Medal of Honor recipients.

“Profiles of Valor: Iowa’s Medal of Honor Recipients of the Civil War,” authored by Sen. Dennis Black of Lynnville, will be available Wednesday at the Iowa Museum Store at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. The book is also expected to be available at retail stores throughout the state.

“It is with great respect that we are releasing this book about Iowa’s Civil War Medal of Honor recipients,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Cyndi Pederson said. “We are particularly thankful to Senator Dennis Black for his diligence and perseverance in creating it for all Iowans to read and enjoy.”

The Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award, is given for distinguished gallantry during hostile action and is presented by the President of the United States in the name of Congress.

Authorized in 1861 by President Abraham Lincoln, the Medal of Honor has recognized the valor and sacrifice of fewer than 3,500 soldiers, more than half of them posthumously. One-hundred eight Iowans have received the award, including the 57 Iowa Civil War soldiers profiled in this new book.

Black said he has been fascinated with the Civil War since his youth, when he learned both of his paternal great-great-grandfathers were casualties of the Confederate States’ rebellion against the Union.

“I am honored to know many Medal of Honor recipients,” Black said, “and I have had the honor of discussing with them their actions while putting their lives on the line in leading and protecting their comrades during battle.”

Those conversations inspired him to research thousands of official documents in an attempt to identify the medal’s recipients with connections to the state of Iowa, from the Civil War through Vietnam.

He compiled more than 90 photographs of Iowa’s recipients, medals and other Civil War-related scenes for the book, which includes detailed biographical information of the recipients as well as a history of events before, during and after the Civil War in Iowa.

The book is 480 pages and retails for $44.95/hardcover and $29.95/softbound. Shipping is available for an additional fee. Call the Iowa Museum Store at 515-281-7395 to order or for more information.

Proceeds from the sale of the book support the State Historical Society of Iowa.

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The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa's historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa's past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa's historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.

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