Nearly half of all adult males in Iowa (over 76,000) volunteered for duty during the Civil War. During the four years of conflict, the lives of countless Iowa families, most of whom farmed, were changed dramatically. Women planted and harvested crops, operated stores, and taught school, while still finding time to serve on relief committees that sent bandages, supplies and food to the troops.
Two unique military units came from Iowa: a regiment of African Americans and the Greybeards, the only Union Army contingent composed of men over the age of 45. The War Between the States took a heavy toll on the population of this young state — over 13,000 soldiers never returned.
"But If we are Spared to get through the war & Return to our Homes all will be well."
— Private Newton Robert Scott, Company A, 36th Infantry, Iowa Volunteers, October 24, 1862,
from Camp Lincoln (Keokuk, Iowa)