June 24, 2011 8:13 pm  •  By JIM CROSS For The Globe Gazette

OSAGE - An exhibit commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War will open Saturday at the Mitchell County Historical Society.

Osage residents Deb and Don Gage are providing the items in the exhibit. The Gages are re-enactors with the Third Iowa Light Artillery, which they organized. 

"The group started out as six members or three couples," said Gage. "Today, there are over 150 members from several Midwest states."

The Third Iowa Light Artillery was based out of Dubuque at the time of the war. "The uniforms of the company are those of what the volunteer firemen wore at the time," she said. "The soldiers wore red shirts and yellow suspenders."

The goal of the unit is to preserve and teach American history. Funds raised through speaking engagements go to scholarships for students pursuing history studies.

The display will have two components. The first will feature Civil War physician Mary Edward Walker, portrayed by Gage. Walker attended Syracuse University Medical College, graduating in 1855. By 1862, she was treating soldiers at the battlefield and in September 1863 became the surgeon of the Army of the Cumberland. Walker was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1865. "My part of the display will include a medical tent and surgeon's table similar to the one Walker would have used on the battlefield," said Gage. "I will also have many of the instruments used in surgery on the battlefield."

The other part of the display will include a replica Civil War Ordinance cannon built by the Gages. "The Ordinance Cannon was used in the eastern part of the United States and was used by the Third Iowa Light Artillery" she said. It takes eight men to properly engage the 2,000-pound cannon and from a quarter pound to a half pound of gunpowder to shoot the cannon.

A large number of Civil War flags will be on display in the atrium of the museum as well as photographs, books and other Civil War memorabilia.