PBS Special features Mounted Units from
2008 Lamoni’s Civil War Days
Click here to view video

During the 2008 Labor Day weekend, a film crew from PBS filmed for hours and hours at Lamoni’s Civil War Days. The purpose of their filming was to document how horses are trained to remain calm and obedient during battle, while cannons, rifles, and pistols exploded around them. They could think of no better examples of excellently trained horses than those which reenactors ride during events, and they wisely chose to come to Lamoni and interview Lieutenant Mike Plummer of Landis Battery (now 6th Missouri Cavalry) and Captain Ken Draper & 1st Sergeant Ray Orth of the 2nd Colorado Cavalry to learn how it is best done.

Mike Plummer, now known as “Hollywood” to his friends, a long-time horse trainer, was interviewed describing how he prepares his horses for the din of battle. Ken Draper, who not only wishes he was known as “Hollywood” but also wishes he had friends, and Ray Orth and the 2nd Colorado boys joined with Fremont Pathfinders 4th Missouri Cavalry to show how green horses are trained to move in formation across an active battlefield.

This footage is part of the nationally televised 13-part series entitled “Saddle Up! With Dennis Brouse” which aired around the country on PBS stations.
Civil War Days and Lamoni are featured in Episode 106 of Series 1.

Saddle Up with Dennis Brouse, a public television series that was made possible with Iowa film tax credits, began airing on May 9 on Iowa Public Television. The 13-episode series was broadcast on Saturday mornings at 8 a.m. 

Dennis Piepergerdes Photography

PBS returned in 2009 to film a new special
“The History of the Horse”
But the Iowa tax credit controversy holds the film captive
and prevents its release 

PBS returned to Civil War Days in 2009 to film our cavalry units in action for a new series entitled “The History of the Horse.” But after filming in Lamoni, the controversy over the disbursement of tax credits in Iowa has stopped the completion and release of the film.

This series was planned to consist of 6 1-hour shows. The working titles of the six segments were (1) The Evolution of the Horse, (2) The Horse as Warrior, (3) as Worker, (4) as Athlete, (5) as Companion, and (6) as Entertainer.

This production company returned because of the good experience they had in 2008, and this is a tribute to the depth of scholarship of our reenactors, to the stunning visual setting of the event, and to the hospitality of our host community, Lamoni, Iowa.

We who produce Civil War Days are deeply grateful for all the expertise and effort that goes into making this event a success, and we take great satisfaction from the fact that Lamoni’s Civil War Days has established itself as a vehicle for providing our hobby with positive national exposure.