April 9, 1999

CONTACT: Pat Mroczek


YPSILANTI &emdash; A Civil War battle will be relived and the Michigan State Normal School students who died during the war will be remembered Saturday, April 17, as part of Eastern Michigan University's Sesquicentennial celebration.

"I will have mixed feelings," said Bob Teehan, EMU's director of veteran services and master of ceremonies at the honoring of the Civil War dead. "I will have feelings of pride and sadness. I will be sad that something like that could occur but proud of those individuals who fought for what they believed in," said Teehan.

A memorial service for the men of Normal Company, which was part of the 17th Regiment of Michigan Volunteers, is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the northwest corner of EMU's Pray-Harrold Classroom Building.

The memorial will include a brief history of Normal Regiments in the Civil War, a historical perspective, a reading by Abe Lincoln impersonator Fred Priebe, a reading of the names of the men from the University who died and the playing of taps.

The memorial is part of a day-long remembrance of the contribution made by Normal Co. during the Civil War. The main event is a live re-enactment of the Battle of South Mountain at 3 p.m., in a field east of Rynearson Stadium. The re-enactment will include more than 20 horses, 200 men and will be filmed for a documentary.

All of the days events are free and open to the public. For more information on Eastern Michigan's celebration, call (734) 487-1010.

The Battle of South Mountain in Maryland was the first campaign in which students from Michigan State Normal School fought. As a result of a successful charge against enemy entrenched behind stone fences, the 17th Regiment of Michigan volunteers earned the name "Stonewall Regiment." Several members of the Normal Company died at the Battle of South Mountain.

Normal Company went on to fight at Fredericksburg, Knoxville and in the western United States. In the course of the Civil War more than 160 Normal men enlisted. Of the 89 men who died in battle from the 10 companies that comprised the 17th regiment, 13 were from Normal Company.

Other events scheduled in Ypsilanti April 17 include:

• drill demonstrations in Riverside Park, 10 a.m.;

• a Mary Todd Lincoln presentation at Cady's in Depot Town, 10 a.m.;

• a re-enactment of the Lincoln-Douglas Debate at Cady's, 10:30 a.m.;

• the soldiers will march to Ypsilanti's Old Barracks for a photo, 11:30 a.m.;

• a performance by the Dodworth Saxhorn Band at Farmer's Market Plaza at 12:30 p.m.;

• a band and army march to EMU's Pray-Harrold Classroom Building at 1 p.m.

For more information on the Ypsilanti Civil War Muster, call (734) 483-1296.