Yes, the Chancellorsville 150th is the most recent major battle anniversary, but on a recent trip up I-95 came the opportunity to visit the Fredericksburg NBP and to walk the sunken road and then follow the path through the national cemetery. For those who haven't visited recently, the walking path and the reconstructed stonewall more clearly educate on what it was like for the Confederates to defend the position against the Union charges from their comparative safety:
More to the Michigan point, however, it takes the visitor just a few more minutes to follow the trail into the cemetery.
There, immediately after entry, one finds this:
A closer look reveals a Michigan grave:
And the story of James T. Avery? Died May 12, 1864. He was a member of Company A, 17th Michigan Infantry, 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, IX Corps, Army of Potomac. Residence: Adrian MI; 19 years old, enlisted on June 4, 1862 at Adrian, Lenawee Co., MI as private; on August 19, 1862 he mustered into "A" Co. MI 17th Infantry. Wounded in February 1864 at Knoxville, TN. Promoted to Sergeant. Killed In action in the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, VA.
This national cemetery is full of such headstones, such graves, such stories. And each one is worth stopping at to pay silent respect to the sacrifice of one of our Michigan forebears.