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Rounds Family Donates Civil War-Era Rifle To Center



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Former Gov. Mike Rounds has donated his family's Civil War-era rifle 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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