Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 098-099 Creator
Smith, Kay, 1925- Institution
Bloomfield Township Public Library Subject
Michigan -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 Subject
Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Monuments -- Michigan -- Birmingham Subject
Irving, Hugh Item Number
part of 'Bloomfield Blossoms' by Kay Smith Type
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
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
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.