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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release November 29, 2010

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

Sen. Dennis Black book signing set for Saturday in Clear Lake

“Profiles of Valor” documents Iowa’s 57 Civil War Medal of Honor recipients

(DES MOINES) – Author and State Sen. Dennis Black of Lynnville will sign copies of his most recent book Saturday during the annual “Christmas by the Lake” festival in Clear Lake.

Black will sign copies of “Profiles of Valor: Iowa’s Medal of Honor Recipients of the Civil War” at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010, at Dana’s Decorating Studio & Gift Shop , 309 Main Avenue in Clear Lake. “Profiles of Valor” tells the stories of 57 Iowans who received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the American Civil War.

“I would like to thank the Clear Lake Historical Society and Dana’s Decorating Studio for hosting this book signing,” Department of Cultural Affairs Director Cyndi Pederson said. “I encourage anybody with an interest in Iowa history to attend and learn more about Iowa’s Civil War Medal of Honor recipients.”

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 nine 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 war.

“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, retails for $44.95/hardcover and $29.95/softbound and will be available for purchase at the book signing. Proceeds from the sale of the book support the State Historical Society of Iowa.

The “Christmas by the Lake” festival has won the Iowa Tourism Event of the Year Award, and was also named one of the Top 20 Places in the U.S. to Spend Your Holiday by A&E Television. Event activities include a lighted parade, fireworks, open houses and more. Visit www.clearlakeiowa.com/ for more information.


The State Historical Society of Iowa 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. Please visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.


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