Confederate States President’s Photo Album Ends Up in Iowa

Joseph Riley from Erie County, N.Y., was in a train station in New Jersey in 1873 when he overheard a conversation between two men sitting on a bench across from him. They were reminiscing about their experiences in the Civil War. One of the men had fought with the Union and said he had been stationed at Fortress Monroe during the final days of the war and that he had guarded the captured president of the Confederate States, Jefferson Davis. He said he had in his possession a family photo album that belonged to Davis. He guessed that Davis would be willing to pay dearly for the stolen piece of family history.

War of 1812 Vet From Iowa Never Lost His Patriotism

Shoppers in downtown Des Moines on September 11, 1874, were curious about a little fruit stand on wheels they saw on the sidewalk. It wasn’t unusual to see the elderly vendor selling fruit at the site, but on that day a large American flag adorned the little stand. When a passerby asked Charles Mooers about the flag, he replied that he was celebrating the anniversary of the War of 1812’s Battle of Plattsburgh. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays. Cheryl Mullenbach is the author of non-fiction books for young people.

President Grant Delivers Lengthy Speech In Iowa

Loudly applauding crowds of people filled the “gaily decorated” streets of Des Moines on September 29, 1875, as President Ulysses S. Grant arrived for the reunion of the Army of the Tennessee, according to the Union (Missouri) Record.

“Aunt Becky” Young Disregards Authority for Her Boys

“I never had a rude word from a soldier in my life. I’ve met rebuffs from steamboat captains and paymasters and that kind of fish, but never from one of the boys!” Aunt Becky Young told a reporter with the Chicago Tribune in 1888.

Mysterious Soldier Served With Civil War Iowa Volunteers

The Twelfth Iowa Volunteer Infantry had made a name for themselves in the Civil War. Formed in Dubuque in 1861, the company left Iowa in November to spend two months in St. Louis before taking part in battles all over the South. They saw action in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama. They proudly represented Iowa at Fort Donelson and the Battle of Shiloh.