Jan
21

Rounds donates Civil War-era rifle to center

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A Civil War rifle owned by former Gov. Mike Rounds has been donated to the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center.  The Model 1861 Springfield rifle was used by his great-great-grandfather, Leopold Joseph Balza.  Rounds says Balza was an infantryman with the 18th Wisconsin Volunteers, a group that participated in one of the Civil War’s most famous campaigns. After the war, Balza settled near Cavour in South Dakota, got married and started a family.  When Rounds became Governor, the family asked that he keep the rifle as a memento in his Capitol office.  Cultural Heritage Center officials say they are honored by the donation. No decision has been made on how to publicly display the gift.

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