Edward Spalding's Diary
Date: c. 1864
Description: This is a diary belonging to Edward B. Spalding, while he was serving as a 2nd and 1st Lieutenant in the 52nd Illinois Infantry during the American Civil War. Spalding was a part of the Battle of Shiloh, which took place on April 6, 1862 near Shiloh, Tennessee. The Confederate Army under General Albert J. Johnston smelled an easy victory against the Federal encampments in the area due to their inexperienced soldiers. After eleven waves of attack the Union troops surrendered until that night. Spalding was wounded twice but refused to leave the battlefield until the Confederate troops were forced to retreat to Corinth by Union reinforcements. In December of 1864 Spalding was honorably discharged and returned home to Illinois. Eventually he would recover but remained crippled for the remainder of his life. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service.
Spalding came to Sioux City in 1865 after hearing about the new town from some of his comrades. During the time of the Civil War Sioux City was rather removed from the events out east, as the city was much more concerned with scares from the Native Americans in the west. Veterans like Spalding came to Sioux City for one reason or another, facilitating the city’s early growth and encouraging the railroad. Spalding himself became prominent in the banking business, encouraging building projects in the city. He was an avid lover of baseball and was thought to have inspired his cousin Albert Spalding, a Baseball Hall of Fame inductee who started Spalding Sporting Goods Company. He also commissioned some of his war recollections to the Grand Army of the Republic papers of the General Hancock Post, established in Sioux City in 1885. These papers, along with this diary, are housed here at the Sioux City Public Museum. Edward Spalding died in March of 1920, and was interred at Floyd Cemetery.
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