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Michigan at Antietam Day honors CW soldiers' sacrifices.

During the Civil War, the state of Michigan sent more than 90,000 soldiers to serve in the Union Army. On September 17, 1862, several thousand of those men fought in and won the battle of Antietam, a victory that enabled President Abraham Lincoln to issue the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation soon after.

In acknowledgment of this, Governor Rick Snyder proclaimed August 26, 2012 as Michigan at Antietam Day, a day when citizens were encouraged to "honor and remember the sacrifice and outstanding leadership of those Michigan service members and the women who provided soldier aid relief efforts on the single bloodiest day in U.S. military history."

In recognition of the proclamation, about 60 people joined members of the Michigan Historical Commission (MHC) as they visited the Antietam National Cemetery near Sharpsburg, Maryland, where more than 100 Michiganians are interred. (In total, Michigan forces claimed approximately 360 casualities during the battle.) As MHC President Jack Dempsey noted in his remarks during the ceremony, "[O]ur forebears came forward in devotion to the land they loved. They hallowed this ground, offering up a great and bloody sacrifice so that our nation could survive its darkest hour. Truly, this was their finest hour."

Attendees at the cemetery were welcomed by Susan Trail, superintendent of the Antietam National Battlefield, as well as David Duncan, a representative of the Civil War Trust.

For more information about Michigan's efforts to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, visit www.michigan.gov/mhcommission.

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Title Annotation:COMMUNIQUES; civil war
Publication:Michigan History Magazine
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U3MI
Date:Jan 1, 2013
Words:248
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