Most people in the Quad Cities know the name Annie Wittenmyer for the complex in Davenport next to a public pool and has been the home of many institutions throughout the years, including Family Services, and the old Davenport Public Library. Some Quad Citizens may know about the Iowa Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home that was on the Wittenmyer campus. However, very few know about Annie Wittenmyer’s bravery. She actually faced gunfire from snipers during the Civil War before she began her role as a sanitation agent for the Union.

“A bullet passed through the window beside me, and whizzed very near to my eyes,” Wittenmyer wrote of the attack. “Fortunately I had just leaned back against the seat; for if I had been sitting in an upright position, as I was a few moments before, the ball would have gone through my head.”

That first person passage comes from Annie Wittenmyer’s memoir of her role in the war: “Under the Guns: A Woman’s Reminiscences of the Civil War.” That book is a quick, rollicking good read. It’s worth ordering or finding at any of the wonderful libraries in the Quad Cities.

Stay tuned, we’re going to have a new destination for Annie Wittenmyer going live soon. You’ll want to stop by the Wittenmyer campus, see the sign, hear an audio play, and learn more about this remarkable woman.

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