Archive for the ‘Civil War’ Category

Continuing the series of Iowa’s hidden genealogical treasures:

Norwalk Easter Public Library
1051 North Avenue
Norwalk, Iowa 50211
Phone: 515-981-0217

Hours: Monday thru Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Website: http://www.norwalk.iowa.gov/Departments/Library


While the genealogy and history materials in this library are few, I found a couple gems, and some other materials to note.

The library has school yearbooks for the local school system dating since 1966. More libraries should be collecting yearbooks. Sometimes they seem too current to be collecting, but they contain someone’s ancestors and they include photographs. In our digital age, it is possible that paper photographs may become a rarity.

I also found four books in this library that I found very interesting:

Clark, Charles B. and Roger B. Bowen. <em>University Recruits: Company C, 12th Iowa Infantry Regiment, U.S.A., 1861-1866. Elverson, PA: Mennonite Family History, 1991.

Hawthorne, Frances E. African Americans in Iowa: A Chronicle of Contributions 1830 – 1992. Des Moines: n.p. 1992. This is 75 pages plus bibliography, typewritten with comb binding. I found it interesting that this manuscript was in this predominately white small-town library. However, it is a true gem. I was impressed with the author and the content. After my visit to this library, I found further information about the author, Frances Hawthorne, and understand that she is an expert in African American Studies.

Luick-Thrams, Michael, editor. Enemies Within: Iowa POWs in Nazi Germany. n.p. 2002.

Wubben, Hubert H. Civil War Iowa and the Copperhead Movement. Ames: The Iowa State University Press, 1980. When we think of the Civil War, we think of a unified effort on each side, but the Copperhead Movement consisted of a group of people trying for a negotiated peace rather than war. This is a must read for anyone studying the Civil War and wanting to understand the Northern dissenting side, as well.


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Researching an ancestor who served in an Iowa unit during the Civil War? You need this guide!

Compiled by James T. Robertson, Jr., this guide appeared in the Iowa Journal of History, April 1961, as part of Civil War centennial observances.

The reference guide includes over 600 bibliographic entries. Eleven headings are:

  1. Slavery in Iowa
  2. John Brown in Iowa
  3. Lincoln and Iowa
  4. Iowa and the Civil War–General
  5. Civilian Leaders
  6. Military Leaders
  7. Regimental Histories and Reminiscences
  8. Singular Events at Home and Afield
  9.  Relief Agencies From Iowa
  10. Southern and Copperhead Sentiment in Iowa
  11. The Grand Army of the Republic

These are followed by four additional sections:

  1. A Civil War Reading List for Iowans
  2. General Works
  3. Biographical Studies–Northern
  4. Biographical Studies–Southern

The section with “Regimental Histories and Reminiscences lists every Iowa unit and everything published to 1961 regarding that unit. For some units the list is quite extensive, others not so much.

Mr. Robertson cautions the reader that some of the entries are rare documents that may have only one copy in existence. In this case it is necessary to contact the State Historical Society of Iowa for the volume. Many of the bibliographic entries refer the researcher to other Iowa publications, i.e., Annals of Iowa, Iowa Historical Record, Iowa Journal of History. However, many are separate publications.

Recently our local Warren County Genealogical Society President alerted members to this guide via email. The amazing thing was (or bit of serendipity, I’m not sure which) when I checked my bookshelves, I discovered I have a copy of the publication. I purchased it somewhere for $1.00! I searched but unfortunately did not find this guide online. Since this publication falls under copyright law, it is not possible for me to scan and attach this wonderful resource to my blog.

The reference guide is only part of this issue. The remainder of the publication contains articles regarding the Vicksburg Campaign. Since many Iowa units were involved at Vicksburg, the entire issue may be of interest to the researcher.

Even though much more material has been published in the last five decades, I consider this comprehensive guide a “must have” Iowa-in-the-Civil-War resource.


Robertson, James T., Jr. “Iowa in the Civil War: A Reference Guide,” Iowa Journal of History, Iowa City, Iowa: The State Historical Society, Vol. 59, No. 2, April 1961, 129-172.

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