The Letters of Civil War Soldier Daniel Parvin

The Muscatine Art Center's permanent collection contains 117 letters written by Muscatine Civil War soldier, Daniel Parvin. A grant from the State Historical Society of Iowa's Historic Resource Development Program made it possible to create a middle school outreach program to present Parvin's actual words to students. Actors were trained to present excerpts from the letters in the classroom. A short film series has been developed for use by teachers and classrooms as well as the general public. Below are the six film segments that follow Daniel Parvin through enlistment and training and into battle. The short films feature actor Bryce Taylor as Daniel Parvin and actor Courtney Gevaert as his wife Sarah Parvin. The two read excerpts of Parvin’s letters to home written from 1861 when he enrolled through his recovery from a gruesome battle injury in 1864.

The films are presented in six segments beginning with an introduction that summarizes Daniel Parvin’s life. Segment two follows Parvin through enlistment and training. The next segment spotlights Parvin’s first taste of action at Pittsburgh Landing. Segment four covers daily life in camp near Corinth followed participation in the Siege of Vicksburg in segment five. The last segment describes Parvin’s injury during the Atlanta Campaign and his hospital recovery followed by some details about Parvin’s life after the Civil War.

Teachers and other educators are welcome to contact the Muscatine Art Center for details about resources for presenting Civil War history. In the 2021-2022 school year, the staff anticipates the return of the Civil War traveling trunk (includes a variety of props, reproduced and laminated primary source materials, student worksheets, and PowerPoint presentations).

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Part Four:

Part Five:

Part Six:

Muscatine & the Civil War:

General Civil War information: