Another unearthed story in Michigan at Antietam is that of an individual who would become the State's chief executive within just a few years after the Civil War concluded. He was present at the battle ground that bloody day, but an account of his experiences at Antietam has not been published til now.
John Judson Bagley was on the scene at Sharpsburg as representative of the Michigan Soldiers Relief Committee. On September 19, he sent the committee a report from Boonsboro, “4 Miles from the Battle Field,” indicating that he and associates “have been here and to the front for two days.” He could “not describe the scene to you. I thank God that we were able to come. …Such a sight I never saw before.” He also reported: “I arrived on the battlefield of Antietam Wednesday noon, but was engaged all of the evening and Thursday, caring for our wounded soldiers.”
Bagley later served as Michigan's representative on the Antietam Battlefield Commission, and was one of the longest-serving commissioners.
His involvement shows the importance of the site to Michigan. Readers of Michigan at Antietam can do the same; their purchase of the book aids putting a Michigan monument on the battlefield -- rectifying over 150 years of a grave "oversight."