Remembering Ypsilanti’s African American Civil War Veterans

Attend the unveiling on June 20 at Highland Cemetery.

In 1861 a grateful President Lincoln exclaimed “Thank God for Michigan” as a regiment composed of brave soldiers from Michigan left for Washington D.C. This regiment was the first from the Midwest to reach and defend the nation’s capital during the Civil War. 

And then on January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, declaring the freedom of slaves in rebel territories, and permitting African Americans to join the military. Seven months later, the “First Michigan Colored Infantry Regiment” was created, and they toured Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Marshall, Cassopolis, and Niles in a successful campaign to recruit additional troops. They fought bravely and valiantly on the battlefield – many of them sacrificing their lives.  

Ypsilanti’s historic Highland Cemetery is the final resting place for at least 30 African American Civil War veterans. 

Please join State Representative Ronnie Peterson, Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and others to honor them at the African American Civil War Veterans Memorial Unveiling Celebration on June 20,2022.

The ceremony, held at Highland Cemetery in Ypsilanti, will begin promptly at 2pm, followed by a strolling reception with finger foods and light refreshments. Ample parking is available. Signs will direct you upon arrival. Golf cart shuttles will be on site however, some walking is required. Limited seating provided; Lawn chairs are welcome. 

This is a free event, open to the public, but please RSVP your attendance to State Representative Ronnie D. Peterson  at 517-373-1771 or email

African American Civil War Veterans Memorial Unveiling Celebration: June 20, 2022 at 2pm located at Highland Cemetery, 943 N. River Street, Ypsilanti, MI 48198. Event will proceed rain or shine. A tented reception will follow the program. 

+ posts