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Cyrus Bussey Civil War reminiscences

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0606

Scope and Content

This collection consists of one thirty-six page document where Bussey details his exploits as an officer with the Iowa Cavalry. Bussey refers to himself in the third person in this laudatory discussion of his experience with the Army of the Southwest, including his encounters with Colonels Van Dorn, McCulloch, and McIntosh; Generals Osterhaus, Fremont, Steele, Sherman, and Grant; Major William C. Drake, Lt. Col. Frimble, Captain Thomas J. Taylor, Lt. A. H. Griswold and Union spy William Miller.

Also among the individuals mentioned are the Pikes Indians and various African Americans who participated in Bussey’s wartime pursuits.

Bussey includes discussion of his involvement in the Battles of Pea Ridge (Elkhorn Tavern) and Vicksburg as well as his occupation of Helena, Arkansas.


  • circa 1864

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Cyrus Bussey was born in Hubbard, Ohio, on October 5, 1833. He married Rockford, Indiana native Ellen Kiser and the couple moved to Bloomfield, Iowa in 1855. After serving as a Democrat in the Iowa Senate, Bussey was appointed by Governor Kirkwood as an Aide-de-State and charged with sharing the responsibility for the defense of the state.

Bussey was appointed Colonel of the 3rd Iowa Cavalry and mustered into service September 5, 1861. His first encounter with the Confederate Army came at the Battle of Pea Ridge in March 1862.

Active during several campaigns in Missouri and Arkansas, Bussey participated in the Battle of Vicksburg as commander of a cavalry brigade in 1863. On January 5, 1864, Bussey was appointed Brigadier General and served with the brevet rank of major general until his muster-out on August 24, 1865.

After the war, Bussey enjoyed success as a businessman in St. Louis and New Orleans. In 1881, he moved his business to New York and again entered politics, this time as a Republican. President Harrison appointed Bussey Assistant Secretary of the Interior in 1889. After resigning from this post in 1893 he set up a law practice in Washington, D.C. where he died on March 2, 1915.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 half-size document box)


A digital reproduction of Cyrus Bussey's Civil War reminscences are available electronically. Please see the the Electronic Resources section section for a link. This digitized collection also includes other Civil War letters and diaries from the James Robertson Civil War diaries, the Mather Family papers, the Charles W. Chapman Civil War diary, and the L. Stone Hall Civil War diary and transcript. Please see Related Materials for links to those collections.

Items in related collections

MS-0646. James Robertson Civil War diaries, circa 1860-1862 MS-0213. Van Zandt Family papers, 1838-1990, undated MS-0258. Vincent E. Rossiter, Sr. papers, 1927-1991, undated MS-0159. John W. Chambers Civil War diary, 1863 MS-0591. Charles W. Chapman Civil War diary, 1862-1869, undated MS-0246. Celestia Lee Barker papers, 1860-1987, undated MS-0587. L. Stone Hall Civil War diary and transcript, 1864-1865

Collection Files

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

MS-0606. Cyrus Bussey Civil War reminiscences, circa 1864
May 29, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672