The Michigan Civil War Association (MCWA) is seeking to raise $200,000 for the purpose of constructing a monument at the Antietam National Battlefield recognizing and commemorating the sacrifice and participation of over 2,000 of the state’s brave citizen soldiers who fought in the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862, the bloodiest battle on American soil. The funds raised will go toward the conceptualization, fabrication, installation and dedication of the monument, and also serve as a legacy fund for its future maintenance.
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 MCWA, a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) public charity formed by historians Jack Dempsey, Brian James Egen and David D. Finney to create and erect a monument on the Antietam Battlefield, recently 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 MCWA is currently seeking proposals to construct the monument that consists of a stone base surmounted by a “life-size” bronze figure representing Michigan’s citizen soldiers. The 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).
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.
For more information, donations and book purchases, please go to:
GoFundMe - https://www.gofundme.com/MichiganatAntietam