On Friday last, Commissioner Brian James Egen and yours truly had the honor of helping the good folks of Washington Township, PA dedicate the newest Michigan Historical Marker. One side commemorates the harrowing events of July 4-5 on Lee's retreat from Gettysburg; the other commemorates the Michigan Cavalry Brigade. The enthusiastic support of the Friends and their allies was inspirational, and for we Michiganders present (and there were a number of them!) it was a tremendous testament to the Marker program, our American heritage, and the power of volunteerism. Here are some pics:
The Michigan Historical Commission has appointed Brian James Egen as chairman of its Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee.
The Committee aids the Commission in fulfilling its duties under law for Michigan's observance of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Most recently, the Commission commemorated Michigan’s role at the Battle of Antietam, the Union victory that enabled issuance by Abraham Lincoln of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Egen is Program Development Officer for The Henry Ford in Dearborn. He is a lifelong student and public historian of the Civil War, a filmmaker, and consultant on numerous Civil War media productions. He lives in Monroe, the home of Michigan cavalry general George A. Custer.
Today is the ceremony for the new Michigan State Marker for the Battle of Richmond in Kentucky. Commissioners Johnson and Micka represent our State at the event. The funds and sponsorship came significantly from the Abraham Lincoln Civil War Round Table of Plymouth, Michigan. Not often a new Civil War marker happens, and coming during the Sesquicentennial it does Michigan proud.
Hudson Mead, former member of the Michigan Historical Commission, former president of the Historical Society of Michigan, died on Sunday, June 24th. He was 90. His late wife was a great-granddaughter of Russell Alger, former Michigan governor and Civil War hero.
The Michigan Historical Commission will hold its first 2012 meeting tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Michigan Historical Center. There's a full agenda, including time for the Civil War Sesquicentennial update. More to follow.
The State CWS committee website was updated last Friday and is found here -- MiCWSCommittee -- along with the most recent iteration of the CWS Work Plan, as of October 27, 2011.
I awoke this morning, brewed my coffee, and sat down to peruse the two Detroit newspapers online when, to my astonishment, the headlines told of the passing of Samuel Logan, Jr. of Detroit. I scarce can believe it. Sam attended the December meeting of the Michigan Historical Commission and, at 78, looked and sounded great. He made a crack about having been a paratrooper -- and I rejoindered that I thought a plane was something designed that you did not jump out of, and Sam gave that hearty chuckle of his. And now I'm reading his obit, through moist eyes ...
The stories give his extensive and honored bio ("a legendary Detroit newsman"; publisher of the Michigan Chronicle; veteran; father; and so on ...) and extol his service to his community and his State (here's but one example: Freep). It is the Detroit News that has the best picture, his head cocked at a bit of an angle with a hint of a smile, impeccably dressed as always, and his bright eyes looking a bit off into the future. He was unique. He truly was a man of greatness.
The accounts don't seem to reference his service on the Commission, where I had the privilege of getting to know and work with him since June 2007. When a friend of mine embroidered shirts for commissioners with the Pure Michigan logo, he was one of the members who wanted one to wear, proudly. His contributions on the Commission and to Michigan history should not be overlooked. Most recently, the Chronicle published a series of three articles on the Civil War Sesquicentennial (see an earlier post here) that sought to reach out to its readership and tell why this most important commemoration should resonate.
He was a positive life force, a gentleman, an advocate. The next meeting, and future meetings, of the Commission will not be the same without him.
"...and thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty." -- 1 Samuel 20:18 (KJV)