|Locate a Monument - Lee County
Iowa Civil War Monuments|
Lee County: Croton
GPS Coordinates: 40.590716 by -91.691216
Northern Most Battle Monument
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The Battle of Athens between Missouri militia units occurred on August 5, 1861. It was across the Des Moines River from Croton in Athens, Missouri. The State Guard (Confederate) Artillery shelled the depot at Croton (they probably overshot Athens and hit Croton by mistake.) There were Iowa militia units with the Home Guards (Union). The Keokuk Rifles, a militia unit headed by Captain William W. Belknap, arrived from Keokuk and fired from the Iowa shore across the River at the Confederates. The Confederate State Guards were driven off and it was a victory for the North. It is the only Civil War battle on Iowa soil and is believed to be the northern most Civil War battle.
The monument photo shows SUVCW members David Thompson and Danny Krock laying a wreath to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Battle. The cannonballs by the sign are probably not ones from the battle. The cannon is a Japanese Type 38 (1905) 77mm field gun - thanks to Tom Batha for its identification. The stone monument was dedicated in 1950. One of the inscriptions reads, "Cannon Balls fell here from the Northernmost Battle of the Civil War of Athens MO August 5-6, 1861."
The Athens Battlefield is maintained by the Missouri Park Service. There are several homes that pre-date the battle. The photos below are from the re-enactment on the 150th battle anniversary. Photos taken in 2006 and on the 150th anniversary in 2011.