Civil War or World War II?

Governor Culver was at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown late this morning.  He signed a couple of veterans-related bills into law.

Lance Renaud of KFJB in Marshalltown covered the event, tape recording Culver’s remarks.  As Culver mentioned the upcoming deployment of up to 3500 Iowa National Guard soldiers, Culver said it was “the largest deployment since the Civil War.”  I have heard Guard leaders describe it as the largest deployment since World War II, when the more than 6000 soldiers in the Iowa Guard were mobilized.

According to a brief history posted on the Iowa National Guard’s website, people who lived in Iowa before the territory became a state formed units…

“…to protect settlers from Indian raiders. The Iowa Territorial Militia, organized in 1838, was first mobilized in 1839 to go to war against Missouri in a border dispute later referred to as the Honey War. (Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed before the two militias clashed, and the official state line was established by a Supreme Court ruling.) 

“In 1846, the Territory of Iowa responded to President James K. Polk’s call to arms for the war with Mexico…(Iowa did not become a state until December 28, 1846)…With the advent of statehood in 1846, the Iowa Territorial Militia became the Iowa State Militia.”

About 76,000 Iowans served as soldiers during the Civil War.  In 1877, the Iowa Militia was renamed the Iowa National Guard.  By the 1920s, there were about 6000 soldiers in the Iowa Guard.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.