Special Collections Department
403 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2140

MS 606
Cyrus Bussey (1833-1915)
Civil War Reminiscences, circa 1864

Descriptive summary

creator: Bussey, Cyrus (1833-1915)
title: Civil War Reminiscences
dates: 1864 circa

0.21 linear feet (1 half-sizedocument box)

collection number: MS 606
repository: Special Collections Department, Iowa State University.


Administrative information

access: Open for research
publication rights: Consult Head, Special Collections Department
preferred citation: Cyrus Bussey, Civil War Reminiscences, ca. 1864, MS 606, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library.


Biographical note

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.


Collection description

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.


Container list







Civil War reminiscences

1984 circa



Transcription of Bussey’s reminiscences