FORT MADISON, Iowa -- The North Lee Historical Society held a special Memorial Day ceremony to honor 22 soldiers who died at Fort Madison in the War of 1812.
Some of the soldiers were killed in battle against Native Americans, some died due to illness. The exact location of the soldiers' burials is not known.
The ceremony was held adjacent to the original old fort site, in a field which was the battlefield of conflict.
“We were able to battle them off, and Chief Blackhawk went back to Michigan, and told Tecumseh he was not going to fight for the British anymore,” said Andy Andrews, President of the North Lee Historical Society.
Fort Madison also has a replica of the original Fort to show visitors what it would have been like back then.
“It’s important because this is the beginning of Iowa, it's important for the state” said Dr. Eugene Watkins, of the Historic Fort Replica. "Nationally, this is the last preservable piece of the largest coordinated Indian offensive in American History." He continued, "Tecumseh attacked this post and two forts in Indiana all within a couple of hours of each other in September of 1812."
The North Lee Historical Society paid $50,000 to buy the lot that was once the battlefield. The group may spend around $500,000 to build a museum on the site to house artifacts from the old fort, now housed in Iowa City.