MOLINE — The military history of Rock Island County is on display in the Atkinson-Peek House museum in Moline.|
Artifacts and showcased items date from the War of 1812 through the Korean War.
Bobbi Jackson, Rock Island County Historical Society archivist and executive director, said seeing the silver blade of a war sword or Civil War rifle, a button-tight uniform, the physical pack or cup carried through battle shows the weight the soldiers carried — not only physical weight, but the emotional weight.
"Rock Island County has a rich military history dating back to 1812," Ms. Jackson said. "We wanted to honor those who served and educate others about our history."
All items on display were donated to the museum, and most by local families, Ms. Jackson said.
The oldest artifact on display is a cannon ball from Campbell's Island, site of the Battle of Rock Island Rapids in the War of 1812.
The cannon ball, slightly larger than a softball, is almost black and weighs about eight pounds. It was donated to the museum by someone who dug it up on Campbell's Island, Ms. Jackson said.
She believes it's rather rare and the only one on display in the Quad-Cities.
Other items include a gunshot leather flask, powder horn, Civil War Union bayonet, a rifle used by a Confederate soldier, World War II Victory medals and a bugle believed to have been played at Gettysburg.
Cordova American Legion Post 1033 donated its collection to Rock Island County Historical Society when the post was closed, Ms. Jackson said. On display from the post is a hand-stitched flag with a wide-red border. Inside the border are blue stars, each with the name of a soldier. Two stars are yellow, symbolizing soldiers who did not make it home alive.
The display also includes a Civil War uniform, a World War I Red Cross cape and an Air Force uniform from the Korean War.
"It is good to honor our veterans, and we are trying to preserve our history," Ms. Jackson said.
The Atkinson-Peek House museum is adjacent to the historical society research library at 822 11th Ave.,Moline.The research library is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
Anyone who wants to see the military history display can inquire in the research library, or tour it byappointment by calling (309) 764-8590.
Ms. Jackson said RICHS will accept and preserve historical items from any military event, including more recent wars. RICHS currently has no military artifacts past the Korean War.