Burials in and near the Old Fort

An unknown number of Native Americans were killed during battles at Fort Madison, at least 16 U.S. soldiers were buried in or near Fort Madison, these include the only soldiers ever killed in action in Iowa. The Soldiers killed July 16, 1813 were almost certainly buried within the fort, since soldiers could not leave the fort because of a prolonged siege.


Private Nicholas Tracy            August 1809

Private John King                   September 1809 

Private Daniel O’Flanagan      February 1810

Private James Moore              October 1811 

Corporal James Leonard         3 March 1812

Private (name unknown)          29/30 March 1812 

Private John Cox                     5 September 1812

Private Samuel Heritage          8 July 1813

Private John Minard                8 July 1813

Private Thomas Sampson        2 June 1813 

Private Thomas Faulkner        16 July 1813 

Private John Bowers               16 July 1813

Private John Ritts                    16 July 1813 

Corporal William Elsey           16 July 1813

Private Robert Dougherty       1813 

Private Pointer       31 August 1814—Buried at Fort’s ruins 1 Sept.

List compiled from a number of researchers, including David Bennett, Eugue Watkins, and John Hansman; (Garrison Graves at Old Fort Madison [2009] NIAS, 59).


State Statutes on Protecting Burials

See: http://www.uiowa.edu/~osa/burials/index.html

263B.7 Ancient remains. The state archaeologist has the primary responsibility for investigating, preserving and reinterring discoveries of ancient human remains. For the purposes of this section ancient human remains shall be those remains found within the state which are more than one hundred fifty years old. The state archaeologist shall make arrangements for the services of a forensic osteologist in studying and interpreting ancient burials and may designate other qualified archaeologists to assist the state archaeologist in recovering physical and cultural information about the ancient burials. The state archaeologist shall file with the Iowa department of public health a written report containing both physical and cultural information regarding the remains at the conclusion of each investigation.

263B.9 Authority to deny permission to disinter human remains. The state archaeologist shall have the authority to deny permission to disinter human remains that the state archaeologist determines have state and national significance from an historical or scientific standpoint for the inspiration and benefit of the people of the United States.

716.5 Criminal mischief in the third degree. A person commits criminal mischief in the third degree [aggravated misdemeanor] who does either of the following: 1. Intentionally disinters human remains from a burial site without lawful authority. 2. Intentionally disinters human remains that have state and national significance from an historical or scientific standpoint for the inspiration and benefit of the United States without the permission of the state archaeologist.

5231.316(6) Discovery of Human Remains. Any person discovering human remains shall notify the county or state medical examiner or a city, county, or state law enforcement agency as soon as is resonably possible unless the person knows or has good reason to believe that such notice has already been given or the discovery occurs in a cemetery. If there is reason to believe that interment may have occurred more than one hundred fifty years earlier, the governmental subdivision notified shall also notify the state archaeologist. A person who does not provide notice required pursuant to this subsection commits a serious misdemeanor.

Iowa Administrative Code
Ancient Human Skeletal Remains

685-11.1 Procedures. OSA is the appropriate agency to contact regarding the discovery of human physical remains or suspected human physical remains believed to be over 150 years old. The OSA should be notified of the location of areas believed to represent ancient burial grounds. The director has the authority to deny permission to disinter human physical remains from aboriginal ossuaries, grave sites, cemeteries or any other archaeological deposit that are determined to have state and national significance from the standpoint of history or science.

11.1(4) The OSA shall maintain records of all known or suspected ancient burial sites in the state. The OSA has the authority to co-ordinate activities pertaining to ancient burial grounds in order to foster their protection and preservation.

Text last updated on February 15, 1996