Check out books and eat them too… Edible Books Festival, April 1

The University of Iowa Libraries invites faculty, staff, students, and the community to celebrate the annual International Edible Books Festival April 1 by crafting a delicious book to share and, of course, eat.

To participate, follow two simple rules: entries must be edible, and they must have something to do with books as shapes and/or content. Edible books will be displayed on April 1 in the Main Library Learning Commons, Group Study Rooms1103 and 1105 in the South Lobby from 3:00-4:30 p.m., followed by a book tasting.

Prizes will be awarded in multiple categories including Best Book Structure, Best Literary Allusion, Judge’s Favorite, Audience Favorite, and Best Tasting. Entries will be judged by the Iowa City Press-Citizen’s Michael Knock, University of Iowa Center for the Book’s Emily Martin, and University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections Librarian Colleen Theisen.

For more information or to submit an entry, please contact Brett Cloyd via email at or by telephone at (319) 335-5743, and bring your entry to Room 1103 between 2:00-2:45 p.m. on April 1.

The International Edible Books Festival is an annual event held on April 1 around the world. The event unites bibliophiles, book artists, and food lovers to celebrate the ingestion of culture and its fulfilling nourishment. Participants create edible books that are exhibited, photographed, and then consumed. Information and inspiration can be found at

We have just finished breakfast, and it is six o clock

Joseph Culver Letter, February 24, 1864, Page 1

Head Qrs. 1st Brig., 1st Div., 11th A.C.
Nashville Febry. 24th 1864
My Dear Wife

We have just finished breakfast, & it is six o clock. In another hour, we will be on the march. The Column will be in motion out the Murfreesboro Pike at 8 o clock.

Our wagon is waiting to be loaded, & I have embraced this leisure moment to say good bye. Write to me often. We will get mail on the route, so I hope to hear from you. We are all in good health.

I have deferred writing in answer to your question because I thought I would get home. If you prefer, go to Mrs. McGregor’s.1 Make yourself comfortable by all means & try & be contented and happy. May God bless & keep you.

Give my love to all,

Good Bye.
Your Affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. In one of her letters to J.F.C., Mary Culver had broached the subject of leaving her parents’ home and taking a room at Mrs. M. J. McGregor’s. Mrs. McGregor was a 45-year-old widow. History of Livingston County, p. 642.
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I am happy to hear that you enjoy such good health

Joseph Culver Letter, February 22, 1864, Page 1

Head Quarters, 1st Brig., 1st Div., 11th A.C.
Nashville Febry. 22nd 1864
My Dear Wife

Your letter of the 15th came to hand this evening.1 I am happy to hear that you enjoy such good health. I telegraphed to you this morning informing you that we would leave here to-morrow.2 We are loaded & the train has started, so that there is not much probability of our not going this time.

Mrs. Harrison arrived yesterday evening. The train was several hours behind time. She had not been in bed a half hour before the orders came to march. How would you have enjoyed it? She will remain in the city a couple of weeks.

Harry McDowell starts home in the morning, & Jim Morrow.3 I will write to you as often as I can on the march.

You wrote to me as to what you should do. I have still some hope of getting home. Since I set down we recd. orders to send out our Pickets again. Another sell. It is now so late that I cannot write more, or I will not get to see McDowell. I am well. Harry will give you all the news. Chris [Yetter] & Alf [Huetson] were here to-night. I will write more by mail. May God bless you. Good night,

Your Affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. Mary Culver’s letter of February 15 is missing from the Culver Collection.
  2. To prevent Confederate General Johnston from rushing soldiers from his Army of Tennessee to Demopolis, Ala., to oppose General Sherman’s columns which had advanced east from Vicksburg to Meridian, Miss., General Grant directed General Thomas to employ two corps of his Army of the Cumberland to make a forced reconnaissance toward Dalton. This movement was to begin not later than Monday morning, the 22d. In conjunction with this movement, orders were received by General Ward to start Harrison’s brigade for Bridgeport, Ala., where it would report to General Howard. On the departure of Harrison’s brigade, Ward’s 2d Brigade would report to General Rousseau and take post at Nashville, Lavergne, and McMinnville. O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XXXII, pt. I, p. 25; pt. II, p. 435.
  3. Lieutenant McDowell and Sergeant Morrow were to return to Illinois on recruiting duty. William H. H. McDowell, a 21-year-old farmer, was mustered into service on Sept. 8, 1862, as sergeant major of the 129th Illinois, and on April 17, 1863 he was commissioned 2d lieutenant of Company E. On Feb. 22, 1864, he started for Illinois to bring up a detail of recruits from Camp Yates, and rejoined the regiment in April. In August 1864 McDowell was detailed to the XX Corps’ ambulance corps, and in January was assigned to duty with the Pioneer Corps. He was mustered out with the regiment on June 8, 1865, near Washington, D.C. James Morrow, a 26-year-old clerk, was mustered into service on Sept. 8, 1862, as a sergeant in Company G, 129th Illinois Infantry. Sergeant Morrow accompanied Lieutenant McDowell to Illinois on recruiting duty, but did not rejoin the regiment until mid-summer. He was mustered out on June 8, 1865, near Washington, D.C. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA.
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I suppose you have had such a happy visit from the Boys home that you could hardly find time to write any letters

Joseph Culver Letter, February 21, 1864, Letter 2, Page 1Chattanooga Tenn
21st of Feb. 1864
Dear Sister Mary

Yesterday I received yours of the 17th inst. the first one that I have received from you for some time but I suppose you have had such a happy visit from the Boys home that you could hardly find time to write any letters. I received a letter from Frank nearly two weeks ago, but have not written to him yet. Jack is with Bridges [Batt.?] yet I have received one letter from him since he came back to Nashville, and he could not tell when he would come to [Batt?] “M.” I am looking for a letter from him every day.

I received a letter from Thos. yesterday He is well and says he has written home 3 times since he left and has not got an answer to any of them yet. He thought he would go to Steubenville before long. He had better be in some other “Bizz” than flirting with my girls down “thar”

We have had fine weather here for the past week. It looks like April weather up North I do not think we will have much more cold weather down here There are several Batteries being fitted out for active service in this place and going to join Thomas in Alabama. I do not know whether Batt “M” will be one of them or not. I think Thomas will soon be on the move, somewhere We have a boat in the Batt and have some fine rides on the Tenn. We have a sail for it & when there is a good breeze we use it.

I am glad to hear of the Revival in Pontiac How do the S. Schools prosper, this winter. I do not know of any thing more to write Remember me to Friends

Aff-ly Your Brother
S.A. Murphy
Batt M 1st Ill Arty
Chattanooga Tenn

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I feel rather certain that I shall get home this Spring

Joseph Culver Letter, February 21, 1864, Page 1

Head Qrs., 1st Brig., 1st Div., 11th A. C.
Nashville, Febry. 21st 1864
My Dear Wife

I recd. two letters from you yesterday evening, both mailed on the 12th, but one written on the 6th & 7th & the other on the 12th.1 I am happy to learn that you enjoy such good health. I will not undertake to answer the questions you have asked, for I feel rather certain that I shall get home this Spring. If not, I will telegraph for you.

If you get an opportunity to see Thomas Hill, ask him what he can do to assist me.2 The money of Tom Smith’s & Joe Shellebarger’s that I expected to borrow is in his hands.3

Mrs. Harrison will be here this evening; the Col. recd. a dispatch from her to-day. My going home will be delayed on Mitchel’s account.4 He has sent in an application for leave to go home & get married. I will cheerfully wait on him. I think he is more nervous about it than I was. He will probably bring his bride here.

I was at church to-day & heard a very good sermon. It was late when we got back, & now it is mail time & my letter very brief. I have been almost tempted to telegraph for you & give up the idea of getting home. I am afraid by the time Jim returns, which will be full one month, we will have marching orders. If I succeed in being sent for the instruments, it will not interfere with my getting a leave of absence next fall, but to get a leave of absence now would prevent it.

If I do not get home, I will write in full about the matters of which you write. Hoskins will be home next week; I will send by him. He is ordered to Chicago to appear against C. J. Beattie.5

You want me to tell you the next prettiest name to Mary. For dark eyes & dark hair, brunnette, I like Ellen, & for light hair & complexion, Jennie.6 Give my love to all. I must close. I hope to get home. May God bless you.

Your Affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. Mary Culver’s letters of February 7 & 12 are missing from the Culver Collection.
  2. Thomas Hill was a 43-year-old Pontiac Township farmer. In 1860 he valued his real estate at $13,000, his personal estate at $1,400, and lived with his wife, Mary, and four children. One of his four farm hands had been Chris Yetter. Eighth Census, Livingston County, State of Illinois, NA.
  3. Joseph Shellenbarger, a 19-year-old fruit tree agent, was mustered into service on Sept. 8, 1862, as a private in Company A, 129th Illinois. Private Shellenbarger died in the brigade hospital on March 31, 1864, at Wauhatchie of pneumonia. Thomas R. Smith, a 23-year-old farmer, was mustered into service on Sept. 8, 1862, as a private in Company A, 129th Illinois. Private Smith was hospitalized at Quincy, Ill., with wounds to the left arm received at New Hope Church, Ga., May 27. 1864. He received a medical discharge on May 18, 1865. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA.
  4. Adjutant Mitchell of Harrison’s staff was granted a 10-day leave on February 19, 1864, “to attend to personal business” in Bloomington, Ind. Ibid.
  5. Charles J. Beattie, a Livingston County lawyer, had been indicted for forgery in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Ibid.
  6. Mary Culver had written J.F.C. of her hope that their next child would be a girl and had asked his preference for a name.
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We are very glad to hear that you have not been sent to the front

Joseph Culver Letter, February 20, 1864, Page 1Carlisle Feb. 20th 1864
Dear Bro. Frank,

Yours of the 14th has been received, and we are very glad too hear that you have not been sent to the front, that is the place of honor, but also of danger, and we feel anxious that you may be as little exposed as possible, and be spared to Mary. I wonder not that you often recall the scenes of the past, when you & Mary were comfortably fixed in your own home, where joy reigned supreme; for there is no place like home, where love prompts every act, and perfumes the very air where our little ones in anticipation of reality nestle in our arms or play at our feet. May God grant unto you soon a return of those joys, for He has blessed you with a wife who is eminently qualified to make your home a happy one.

Mother received your letter also one from Mary and will foreward Mary’s clothes &c. on Monday or Tuesday she has written to Mary to that effect. Jennie sent a letter to Mary this afternoon. Mary endeared her self to us very much while here, and we feel very deeply for her in her affliction and her separation from you, and would fain throw a ray of joy around her to cheer her in her loneliness. I hope she may be privileged to return and spend the Spring and Summer with you. I was at our babes & Frankie’s graves last Sabbath the sprigs of green which Mary placed at the head of the graves are still there, the flowers have faded fit emblem of their lives beautiful but fleeting, their immortal spirits now bloom in perpetual youth. Death has again entered my family a sister mourns the death of her youngest child aged 6 or 8 months. My father is worse I scarcely expect to see him again alive, but hope to meet him again on the bright shores of our Heavenly Home. We heard from Hanna this evening she seems to be much pleased with the School she is right well. Mother seems more cheerful and contented than she did before Hanna left. I saw Gustie & John Miller to day their families were well. I saw Lizzie a week ago all were well then. Jennie and Marvin are pretty well, they both have colds. My health is better than it has been for some weeks. Dr. Johnson is engaged in an effort to increase the College Endowment $100.000 his prospects are very good.

“May angels guard thee”
Your Brother
H.C. Cheston

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It is just one week since your last letter arrived

Joseph Culver Letter, February 19, 1864, Page 1

Head Qrs., 1st Brig., 1st Div., 11th A.C.
Nashville Febry. 19th 1864
My Dear Wife

I recd. no letter to-day; it is just one week since your last arrived. I cannot divine the reason. [Pvt. Joseph] Allen recd. a letter from Lou, dated the 14th, in which she says you are well.1

You wrote in one of your letters for me to send a [black] servant for Mrs. Remick and one for Maggie [Utley]. I would be happy to comply if it were possible, but every negro captured in Kentucky is sold into Slavery.2 None are allowed to cross the Ohio River. The only way is to get a permit to take your servants home with you, as Dr. Johns did, & then go up the river to Cairo.3 I cannot take time to go by water, & therefore will not be able to take them with me.

I am unable to tell how soon I may be ready to start home, or whether it is certain or not. I have succeeded well in my own Regt., but some of the others are slow.4

My health is good. If I could only hear from you, but I feel fearful that your health may not be good. I have recd. no letter from any source since I last wrote. I wrote to Bro. Charlie [Culver], Johnie [Murphy], & Scott McDowell last night. I have not been able to sleep for the cold for several nights.5 Mrs. Harrison will be here to-morrow. How I wish you were here, but wishing is in vain. Give my love to Mother & Maggie. May God bless & keep you. Good night.

  1. Lou Allen was the wife of Pvt. Joseph Allen of Company A, 129th Illinois Infantry. Eighth Census, Livingston County, State of Illinois, NA.
  2. Thousands of blacks freed by President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, dated January 1, 1863, had refugeed to the Nashville area and were living in camps in and around the city. According to terms of the Emancipation, Union slave states—including Kentucky, all of Tennessee, and sections of Virginia and Louisiana—had been excluded from its provisions. Slave owners, legal residents of these states or regions, could identify and claim the return of their blacks. Randall, Civil War & Reconstruction, pp. 490-498.
  3. Dr. Harvey S. Johns’ resignation as surgeon of the 129th Illinois had been accepted January 19, 1864. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA.
  4. J.F.C.’s reference is to the collection of funds from the troops to purchase instruments for the brigade band.
  5. Private Grunert noted in his diary for February 18, “intensely cold weather today.” On February 17, Private Dunham had written his mother, “We are having splendid wether heare now but rather cool. People are plowing.” Grunert, History of the 129th Illinois, p. 44; Through the South with a Union Soldier, p. 104.
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I was somewhat surprised to hear of Sammy’s enlisting

Joseph Culver Letter, February 19, 1864, Page 1In Camp at Loudon Tenn.
19 February 1864
Brother Frank:

Your favor of 1st inst containing letters from mother, Sammy, Brucker and Grunbaum was received three days ago. It was a very interesting package. I had not heard from home in a longtime. I was somewhat surprised to hear of Sammy’s enlisting. I knew he wanted to come into the army – he has often told me so, but I never gave him any encouragement. Once, when asked by him what he had better do with regard to entering the service, I told him to go to school two or three years, and then if necesity required it, to go into the army. I had hoped that he would be spared the evil influence incident to camp life. But it may do him good. I shall be very glad to see him. Since the receipt of your letters, I have learned that the order for you to march to Bridgeport, was countermanded: you may still be in Nashville. My valise has reached Chattanooga, and I shall get it in a few days. If you see Sammy, as he comes to the Battery, tell him that some of our men are still in Chattanooga in charge of some ordnance stores left there, and that he can find them by following the railroad from fort Negley to fort Wood. They are midway between.

I am disappointed not to see Mary before she went home. One section of our Battery moved out night before last with a Brigade of infantry. I have not yet learned where they went. I am very busy now: this is the first letter I have written in more than a week. I must write to mother tonight. How do you like your new position as A.D.C.? I think it will suit you better than a line office. I hope you will rise still higher in position, and that you may continue to fill every position with honor to the country and credit to yourself.

How is it with your soul, Frank? Are you prospering spiritually? I am not doing very well now. The circumstances with which I am surrounded are very untoward. I would much like to see you tonight. But can not write more.

Write me soon and often.

Your Brother W J Murphy
Battery M 1st Ill. Artillery
3 Brig. 2 Div. H. A. C.
Louden Tenn.

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