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State Historical Society of Iowa
Civil War Era Cannon Exhibit in Museum

Iowa and the Civil War

Discover what inspired more than 76,000 Iowans to fight in the Civil War with galleries featuring life before, during and after the war. More than 300 artifacts tell the stories of the Iowans who fought and the communities that supported them. Unearth the story of Samuel Byers, a soldier who escaped a Confederate prison by chiseling his way through the wall and imagine what it was like for Voltaire Twombly as he led the 2nd Iowa Infantry through battle at Fort Donnellson.


  • Get an up-close look at a Napoleon cannon
  • Imagine what life was like for soldiers in camp
  • View firearms and other weapons used by Iowa soldiers
  • Hear why Iowans chose to fight in their own words