the making of modern michigan

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Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 098-099
Smith, Kay, 1925-

Bloomfield Township Public Library

Michigan -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865

Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Monuments -- Michigan -- Birmingham

Irving, Hugh

Item Number

part of 'Bloomfield Blossoms' by Kay Smith

text, image


DARK CLOUDS AMASS. THE WAR OF THE REBELLION BEGINS Into the stabilizing economy and flourishing farm development of Bloomfield was fired, in 1860, the bullet which would shatter the peace of its countryside. It was called The War of the Rebellion here and the Civil War elsewhere, but under any name it culled from the families of our pioneers the cream of the young manhood. From Oakland County, men streamed into the conflict. In all, 3,700 county men were mustered into service, with almost 90 of these from Bloomfield Township. The county and its townships also raised $586,556.98, an incredible sum in proportion to its population and wealth at that time. Of the county's men, 400, or almost 11%, died in the conflict, but Bloomfield gave one third of its men in the cause. William Irving, teenaged son of the same Hugh Irving who later married our narrator, Miss Fannie Fish, was among the first to enlist and the first to die in the war. He was sighting a cannon when he was struck in the forehead by a Confederate bullet and died instantly. In anguish, his father went to the South to find his body, and after a long, agonizing search he found William's remains. Hugh brought his dead son home and buried him in the family plot in Greenwood Cemetery. The monument pictured here, erected in 1869, lists the dead heroes of Troy, Royal Oak and Southfield Townships as well as those of Bloomfield. It was supposedly financed by the citizens of the four Townships, but from the records it appears that only Hugh Irving contributed the money to build it. It was placed at the center of Woodward and Maple intersection (Saginaw and Mill Streets in those days) and surrounded with a wrought-iron fence. A runaway team of horses knocked the fence down and it was never replaced. In 1891 the monument was removed to Greenwood Cemetery, and in 1964, as part of Birmingham's Centennial, it was placed in its present location in front of the Birmingham City Hall.

Bloomfield Blossoms:  p. 098-099 part 1 Bloomfield Blossoms:  p. 098-099 part 2

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