Although it's been a few years since I've attended one, I've always been amazed at the dedication and attention to detail of those involved in Civil War reenactment, something I've experienced most often during annual encampments at Mason City's East Park.
So it's been interesting to send a little information this week regarding Chariton's Lt. Col. William H. Gibbon off to Thomas Federico, a Georgia-based reenactor who will be portraying the Lucas County physician during one of the major reenactments of the Civil War sesquicentennial during late March and early April in Tennessee.
This is the 150th anniversary year of the April 6-7, 1862, battle of Shiloh, in which many Lucas Countyans were involved and in which many gave up their lives. The Blue-Gray Alliance of Reenactors will observe the anniversary March 30-April 1 on 2,000 acres adjacent to the Shiloh National Military Park. Online information suggests that so far more than 3,000 re-enactors have registered for the event spearheaded by the First Federal Division and Cleburne's Division of reenactors plus the Battle of Shiloh Association.
Dr. Gibbon served, often heroically, as assistant surgeon, later surgeon, to the 15th Iowa Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. You can read more about Dr. Gibbon and his service on the following pages, lifted from the 1896 "Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa." You'll need to right click on the images and open them in new windows in order to read them.
Dr. Gibbon's drug store still stands at the northeast corner of the Chariton Square --- you can see an image of it here; and the grand house he built shortly before he died still stands on South Grand Street. But the doctor himself has become a little obscure in the nearly 120 years since his death. He was not a self-promoter and never sought public office. He was a physician before the war, during the war and after the war and, for him, that was enough.