The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

September 13, 2012

Civil War exhibit to stop in Clinton

By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — A traveling Civil War exhibit will stop in Clinton this weekend.

The Clinton County Historical Society, in conjunction with the State Historical Society of Iowa, is sponsoring “The Fiery Trial: Iowa and the Civil War.” The exhibit trailer will come into town Friday night and will set up at the St. Irenaeus Cultural Center, 2811 N. Second St. The exhibit will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

“There’s a lot of Civil War buffs in town,” Clinton County Historical Society Board member Bob Soesbe said.

According to the State Historical Society of Iowa website, the exhibit was unveiled on April 12, 2011, as part of activities for the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. The exhibit travels the state in a 32-foot trailer and is part of the State Historical Museum’s educational outreach program to serve Iowa communities.

“When we can afford to bring one (exhibit) in, we like to do it,” Soesbe said.  

Soesbe said the historical society is excited to have the exhibit this weekend. He pointed out that Iowa had many volunteers who participated in the Civil War. He felt that military-themed events and exhibits are a great thing to bring into town.

“It’s all part of history,” Soesbe said.

The exhibit will include:

• A visual timeline of Iowa’s participation in the Civil War.

• Panels about Iowans and their Civil War experiences.

• Information about Annie Wittenmyer, a sanitation agent for Iowa who oversaw the needs of Union Army soldiers.

• The impact of the Civil War on Iowa.

• The role Iowa played in the Civil Rights movement when it approved the right to vote for African-Americans.

• A computer program that allows visitors to research Civil War ancestors by person, town, township or congressional district.