The State of Michigan has no monument on the Antietam National Battlefield recognizing and commemorating the sacrifice and participation of over 2,000 of her brave citizen soldiers who fought there on September 17, 1862. As Americas’ single bloodiest day with over 22,000 casualties, the Battle of Antietam was a crucial and pivotal turning point in the American Civil War. Union victory at Antietam checked Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia from advancing into the north, dissuaded European intervention of behalf of the Confederacy and enabled President Abraham Lincoln to issue the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation just five days later. The Wolverine State’s contributions to secure a “more perfect Union” and enable the Emancipation Proclamation are vast and worthy of honor.
The Michigan Civil War Association, a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) public charity, was formed in September of 2013 by historians Jack Dempsey, Brian James Egen and David D. Finney to create and erect a monument on the Antietam Battlefield. In May of 2014, the MCWA secured a 400 square foot easement of private property located in the epicenter of the battle. In 2015 the Civil War Trust acquired the private land from which this easement was obtained with the eventual purpose to be deeded to the National Park Service at Antietam National Battlefield. This will be the only and last opportunity for Michigan to erect a monument “on” the Antietam Battlefield.
The Michigan Civil War Association is currently seeking to raise $200,000 for the purpose of conceptualization, fabrication, installation, and dedication of this monument as well as a legacy fund for its future maintenance. It is our intention that the monument be in the scale and scope of traditional regimental monuments on Civil War battlefields. We are seeking proposals for a style that will include a stone base surmounted by a “life-size” bronze figure representing Michigan’s citizen soldiers.
The Michigan monument will be erected on the location where the 7th Michigan Volunteer Infantry passed during their early morning assault as part of Dana’s Brigade, Sedgwick’s Division, Sumner’s Corps, of the Army of the Potomac (US). Although located where the 7th Michigan Infantry fought, the monument will pay homage to all Michigan regiments that participated in the battle.
To initiate the fund-raising efforts, Jack Dempsey and Brian James Egen co-authored Michigan at Antietam: The Wolverine State’s Sacrifice on America’s Bloodiest Day. This new book, published in August of 2015, chronicles Michigan’s role during the Maryland Campaign that culminated in the Battle of Antietam. With a foreword by Dave Finney, all author proceeds are devoted to the Michigan Monument at Antietam project. Copies of the book can be obtained through the Michigan Civil War Association for $30 (includes shipping). Donations beyond $30 are welcome - checks may be made payable to the “Michigan Civil War Association.” The book is also available through major booksellers, Amazon.com and the book’s publisher The History Press.
Please enlist in this worthy cause.
For more information, donations and book purchases, please contact:
Michigan Civil War Association, c/o John M. Dempsey, Dickinson Wright PLLC, 350 S. Main Street, STE 300, Ann Arbor MI 48104-8814, firstname.lastname@example.org