Three state legislators took time this past week to mark the sesquicentennial of an event that has come to showcase the heroism of Iowans. Senator Rob Hogg said “The Battle of Shiloh” is an important part of Iowa’s military history.

“It is the battle in which more Iowans fought and died than in any other battle in any other war,” Hogg says.

Over 6600 Iowa soldiers were engaged in the battle and more than 2400 of them were killed.

On April 6th and 7th of 1862 Confederate soldiers staged a surprise attack in southern Tennessee on Union troops under the command of General Grant. Iowa soldiers helped staged a now-famous defense in “the Hornet’s Nest” on the first day to stave off the surging Confederates. It gave Union forces time to regroup and win the battle on the second day. Representative Nate Willems told his colleagues this week that if it hadn’t been for those Iowans, the Union may not have had its first major win in the west. Iowa had 11 regiments in the Battle of Shiloh.

“We are who we are because of those who came before us,” said Senator Dennis Black.

There are a dozen monuments on the battlefield in Tennessee that honor the Iowa soldiers who fought in The Battle of Shiloh. Black cited the bravery of Edward Spaulding, a soldier from Sioux City who despite a wounded right shoulder and a shattered left hand, led a spirited charge against the Confederates at Shiloh.

“Edward Spaulding came back to Sioux City following the war. He was presented the Congressional Medal of Honor,” Black said. “He became very well-known in the Sioux City area. He, personally, with his wealth that he derived from railroading, banking and from dry goods stores, built the water system for Sioux City.”

In 1875 — 10 years after the Civil War ended — Edward and his brother, Albert, started the Spaulding Sporting Goods Company in Chicago, where Albert Spaulding lived.