Camp Harlan

Northeast corner of Hickory Avenue and W. Courtland Street, Mount Pleasant, Iowa

Marker identifying the location of Civil War Camp Harlan


Camp Harlan Marker

The camp was located behind this iron fence. It is private property and is being farmed. There is supposedly a spring house here, the only remnant of the camp, but if it exists, it is unavailable to viewing.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in May 2013



Street View 


The markers on this small square commemorate the location of a Civil War encampment named Camp Harlan, after Sentor James Harlan. Harlan was president of Iowa Wesleyan College, in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, from 1853 to 1855. Harland was elected to the Senate in 1855 from the Free Soil Party, but in 1857, the election was declared invalid and the seat was vacated. Harlan won the seat again in 1859 as a member of the Republican Party, where he served until 1865.

Senator Harlan was a member of a committee that tried to negotiate peace and prevent the Civil War. With the assistance of Senator Harlan, Camp Harlan, on this location, became the training post for the Iowa 4th Cavalry in 1861 and later, in 1862, the camp now renamed Camp McKean,was the training center for the 125th Iowa Infantry.

The marker was first placed on June 8, 1930. An additional historic plaque was placed here along with another plaque honoring those awarded the Medal of Honor from Camp Harlan.

Camp Harlan was added to the NRHP on January 2, 2013.

Update Log 

  • April 10, 2017: New Street View added by Bill Eichelberger
  • June 4, 2014: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated NRHP Status
  • May 27, 2013: Added by J.R. Manning