Davis County Raid – 150th Anniversary

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Davis County, Iowa in October … generally this is a busy time with farmers in the fields harvesting corn and soybeans.  But, that’s not all that goes on in Davis County.  It’s also time for the Davis County Raid reenactment.  The event offers a reminder of Iowa’s tumultuous past during the Civil War.  Iowa sent over 76,000 men into the war and had the distinction of having the highest percentage of its male population between the ages of 15-40 serve during the war – this includes North and South. 

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The Davis County event was significant for Iowa in a unique way.  Back in 1864, the war-between-the-states raged and Abraham Lincoln was running for re-election.  On October 12, 1864, Lieutenant James “Bill” Jackson led twelve heavily armed Missouri Partisan Rangers on a raid into Davis County.  His Confederate partisans were dressed in Union uniforms as they rode into Iowa. They looted and terrorized as they made their way through the county and when the dust settled, three local citizens were dead. 

A note pinned on two of the dead claimed the raid was in retaliation for the killing of David Plunkett by Federal Soldiers near Glasgow, Missouri. Even with the note, some believe the purpose of the guerrilla raid was also political. They believe the partisans acted to embolden the anti-Lincoln Confederate sympathizers in southern Iowa in order to hinder the re-election of Lincoln.

The raid turned out to be the Northern-most Confederate incursion into Union territory. It also added three deaths to the 13,000 Iowans who died during the war.

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One hundred fifty years later, you could hear the drone of tractors as they worked the nearby fields.  But in this neck of the woods you could also  the hear the clatter of rifle fire and the thunder of artillery. Horses galloped across the rolling fields and soldiers clashed.  This time it was living history theater.

>>  Did you know?  In 2013 the Davis County Raid reenactment was included in a documentary film .  <<

 THE CIVIL WAR IN IOWA – LAMONI, CORYDON & DAVIS COUNTY

CLICK HERE to learn more about this exciting DVD.

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One thought on “Davis County Raid – 150th Anniversary

  1. This is such an exciting reenactment, it is so saddening to think of the horrors of this war, often brother against brother. Wonderful project.

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