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Marion County Historical Society * P.O. Box 2223 * Indianapolis IN 46206


Our Next Program

Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Detectives and Spies: U.S. Army Intelligence Operations in Indianapolis during the Civil War

LOCATION: Indianapolis Central Library – 6th Floor Special Collections Reading Room

The U.S. Army responded to growing threats to its integrity arising from desertion, draft dodging, and armed resistance to the draft in the Midwest during the Civil War by creating detective bureaus to collect intelligence on armed secret organizations that impeded the Union war effort. Army detectives and spies successfully infiltrated these groups and foiled plots to raise insurrection and release Confederate POWs. Stephen Towne will show how Indianapolis was a central hub for Army intelligence operations.

Stephen E. Towne is Associate University Archivist at IUPUI. He has published extensively on Civil War-related topics. His latest book, Surveillance and Spies in the Civil War: Exposing Confederate Conspiracies in America’s Heartland, is forthcoming from Ohio University Press.

2014 Calendar

The Marion County Historical Society is in the process of finalizing the schedule of events for 2014. These planned events are divided into two categories. The first category, Programs, will be traditional presentations related to the topic at an associated venue. The second category, Walking Tours, will be less formal tours with a short presentation on the historical topic followed by an informal discussion and beverage near the site of the tour.

Who We Are

The Marion County Historical Society (MCHS) is a non-profit organization that was established in 1961 for all those interested in the history and culture of Marion County, Indiana. It was originally formed to advocate for historically significant architecture in downtown Indianapolis, but it now also includes programs and activities that explore and preserve our local heritage.

What We Do

Through a variety of programs, conferences, grants and publications, MCHS works to develop community awareness of our past and its impact on the present and future. Past programs have included:

Please direct your questions to us about Marion County, Indiana local history information only. We are not a genealogy society and we have no holdings or archives. For genealogy information, please contact the Indiana Genealogical Society or the Genealogical Society of Marion County.

The Indiana State Library can help you with obituaries and information from old newspapers. Other sources to contact are: the Indiana Historical Society and the vertical files in the Indianapolis Public Library branches.