PONTIAC (WWJ) –  With the 5th Michigan Regiment Band playing nearby, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson unveiled the “Oakland County in the Civil War” map during a news conference Thursday.

The unveiling was held at the Governor Moses Wisner House in Pontiac to mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War this month.

The map, which highlights stories about what the people of Oakland County accomplished during the Civil War, will be available to the public for $20 at the One Stop Shop in Oakland County’s Executive Office Building, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford.

The map is also available to historical societies and commissions, museums, libraries, universities and schools.

“We encourage you to use the map to locate those special places that can connect you with the history that is uniquely Oakland County and to embark on your own exploration of the Civil War,” Patterson said in a release. “Our goal is to get this map into every Oakland County classroom.”

Carol Bacak-Egbo, a member of the Oakland County Historical Commission and employee of Waterford Schools, is responding to that call to place the map in every Oakland County classroom.

Bacak-Egbo administers a federal Teaching American History grant locally and plans to use some of her grant money to develop a curriculum around the map.

Civil War stories featured on the map include:

  • A remarkable story of a woman from Holly who enlisted disguised as a man and later became a spy for the Union
  • The Rochester soldier spared from a Confederate hanging because of the intervention of a confederate family with whom he had shared his food rations
  • The Lake Orion teacher who became the Commander of Michigan’s 102nd Colored Regiment

The map also notes the locations of 12 confirmed Underground Railroad stations and 13 unconfirmed Underground Railroad stations that exist today in Oakland County.

An electronic version of the map will be available to the public in the near future.

So far, Oakland County has requests for more than 350 maps from 14 historical societies and commissions, four museums and libraries, and four universities.

Melissa Luginski from the Oakland County Historical Commission, said the map will create an opportunity for cultural tourists to travel to Oakland County and experience many Civil War era and Underground Railroad points of interest.

For more information about obtaining the “Oakland County in the Civil War” map, contact the One Stop Shop at 248-858-0720, or visit their website.


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