Monroe’s diverse history includes an active role in supporting the Union during the Civil War. Learn more about the people and places of our county from 1861-1865.
Camp Monroe – During the Civil War the city of Monroe hosted a training camp on the site of the old fairgrounds. Three military units trained here which included the Seventh and Fifteenth Michigan and Battery H of the Michigan Light Artillery. Men from all parts of the state were trained on these grounds.
Reported in the Monroe Commercial Newspaper on August 15, 1861:
The encampment of the Seventh Regiment, on the County Fair Grounds in this city, which is to
be designated as Camp Monroe, now presents quite a lively appearance. Parts of five companies,
being one from Port Huron under Capt. Hunt, from Jonesville under Capt. Baxter, from Burr Oak
under Capt. Waterman, from Farmington under Capt. Harty, and the Monroe City Guards under
Capt. Darrah have been reported at the Camp, partially full. The latter Company now numbers
between eighty and ninety men. A very fine, athletic and vigorous looking body of about fifty
arrived last night, from the Upper Peninsular, for Capt. Harty’s Company. The officers are
mostly large and muscular men, and fine looking.
Considerable activity has prevailed today in putting up tents, and other necessary preparations.
We understand all the tents have been received and will be pitched immediately, and that it is
probable that the entire regiment will be in camp as soon as the fore part of next week. The tents
are quite large and roomy, and will accommodate twenty men each. The Company’s owing to
some changes having been made, will soon be re-lettered, and when this done we shall publish a
full list of the officers. The regimental officers are as follows:
Colonel—Ira A. Grosvenor, Monroe
Lieut. Colonel—Frazey M. Winans, Monroe
Major—Nathaniel B. Eldridge, Lapeer
Adjutant—Henry B. Landon, Monroe
Qr. Master—Charles M. Walker, Lapeer
Qr. Master Serg’t—Chas. H. Curtiss, Detroit
Honoring Monroe History – In September of 2013, a Historical Marker was placed at the corner of St. Mary’s Avenue and Lorain Street to remember the site of Camp Monroe. The camp, located on the old fairgrounds, was on Noble Street and extended to Godfroy Street to the west and Grove Street to the north. The camp covered almost 20 acres. In the evening, citizens would come out to watch the recruits on the parade grounds.
Read more about it:
|Michigan Civil War Landmarks by David Ingall and Karin Risko|
|Remembering Michigan's Civil War Soldiers by David D. Finney, Jr. and Judith Stermer McIntosh|
|The Seventh Michigan Volunteer Infantry by David G. Townshend|
Paging through the Civil War Book Club – This is a book club that focuses on the American Civil War. We are currently reading Reveille in Washington by Margaret Leech. We will meet to discuss the book on Thursday, September 24 at 7 pm at the Ellis Library and Reference Center. For more information please contact Charmaine Wawrzyniec at 734-241-5277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about the Civil War – The Monroe County Civil War Round Table, sponsored by the Friends of Ellis Library, meets the second Thursday of every month from September through May at the Ellis Library and Reference Center. Each month a different speaker is invited to share his or her knowledge of specific Civil War topics. Our new lecture series will begin Thursday, September 10, when Mr. Ernest Greer will give the history of Company I of the 12th South Carolina Volunteers. All talks are free and open to the public. For more information please contact Charmaine Wawrzyniec at 734-241-5277 or email email@example.com.