About the State Historical Society > News > 2012

State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release May 14, 2012

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

State Historical Museum's Civil War exhibit has strong opening month

Iowa cavalry units, programs mark Armed Forces Day events May 19

DES MOINES – The State Historical Museum of Iowa’s newest exhibition about Iowa and the Civil War has drawn record attendance since opening last month.

“Iowa and the Civil War: Nothing But Victory” opened April 14, 2012, and to date nearly 10,000 people have experienced the exhibition, which features more than 300 authentic artifacts and documents that tell the stories of Iowa and those who served during America’s bloodiest conflict. The 10,000 square-foot exhibition recounts the first-hand experiences of Iowans at war and the communities that supported them, and showcases historic battle flags and the actual weaponry – cannons, guns and swords – used in some of the most important events and turning points of the Civil War.

“We are thrilled so many Iowans have experienced this exhibition in its opening weeks,” State Historical Museum Director Susan Kloewer said. “The initial attendance has been strong, and we look forward to welcoming more families, groups, adults and children to the exhibition and engaging them with related programming throughout the summer.”

The exhibition also explores a Civil War soldier’s life in camp, medical practices of the mid-19th century and much more, including the issues and events that led to hostilities between Northern and Southern states.

The State Historical Museum will commemorate Armed Forces Day on Saturday, May 19, 2012, with programs, and members of Iowa’s 3rd Iowa Cavalry, 7th Iowa Cavalry and Sons of Union Veterans will interact with visitors.

The Museum’s program schedule on Armed Forces Day follows:

11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Members of the 3rd and 7th Iowa cavalries and their horses will be stationed under the portico of the State Historical Museum, where visitors can interact with them, ride a period-outfitted horse and learn about the role of the Cavalry in battle. Portico

11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Members of the Sons of Union Veterans will be stationed inside the “Iowa and the Civil War” exhibition to interact with visitors and discuss the everyday lives of Iowa’s Civil War soldiers. Exhibit

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
State Historical Museum Battle Flag Conservator Sheila Hanke will give a presentation about popular music during the Civil War, focusing on African and Celtic musical traditions. She will discuss minstrel shows and popular instruments from the Civil War era, and visitors can make their own tambourines. Heritage Classrooms A and B.

2-3 p.m.
History interpreter and former history teacher Edy Fudge will present “Music of the Civil War: Examination of Steven Foster Songs.” She will discuss lyrics and use of wordage followed by singing of songs. Auditorium

The State Historical Museum of Iowa is open 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and Noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free and open to the public. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.



The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state’s interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. DCA preserves, researches, interprets and promotes an awareness and understanding of local, state and regional history and stimulates and encourages the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and public interest and participation in them. It implements tourism-related art and history projects as directed by the General Assembly and designs a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan with the assistance of the Iowa Arts Council to develop the arts in Iowa. More information about DCA is available at www.culturalaffairs.org.


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