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Civil War through the eyes of Iowans
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In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, the University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums are proud to present Gone to See the Elephant: The Civil War through the Eyes of Iowa Soldiers from Aug. 30 through May 26 in the Old Capitol Museum’s Hanson Family Humanities Gallery.
The exhibit will open with a free public opening reception Thursday, Aug. 30, from 5-7 p.m. Live period music, characters, refreshments, and a cash bar will be provided. Musical entertainment is provided by the Drollinger Family Band, a local acoustic folk trio on fiddles and guitar.
The exhibit will examine the important role of the State of Iowa and the UI during the war, and feature primary resources, artifacts, historical documents, and educational programming. Visitors will see how Iowa soldiers experienced daily camp life, faced injuries on the battlefield, survived prisoner camps, and longed for home.
To enhance the experience for visitors relating to Civil War stories, five eastern Iowans’ personal stories will be featured, including Nick Messenger, a UI student wounded in the 22nd Iowa, and Walcott Seymour, the grandson of an Iowa legislator who worked in the Old Capitol building and returned from the 15th Iowa unharmed. Among the fascinating artifacts showcased in the Civil War exhibit are a cast set of President Abraham Lincoln’s hands, a handwritten diary of Henry Clay Seymour and a large collection of period armaments.
Throughout the exhibit, programming will include a lecture series given by local and national Civil War scholars, family movie screenings, children’s activities focusing on camp and home life during the war, an Underground Railroad walking tour of Iowa City, and the chance to attend a program where you can learn to cook and taste period foods at the New Pioneer Co-op in Coralville.
A list of all the Civil War programs can be found at www.uiowa.edu/oldcap. The Old Capitol Museum gift shop is excited to feature new Civil War merchandise, including Civil War cypher wheels and books on local Civil War topics. For more information on Old Capitol Museum’s exhibits and programs call 319-335-0546 or visit www.uiowa.edu/oldcap.