In honor of Memorial Day, we will be hosting a tour of the Deerfield Historical Cemetery on May 12 at 10:30 a.m. that focuses on those buried here that served our country.
I heard once that all history is ‘local.’ I’ve never felt that as strongly as when I put together our Veterans Tour of the Deerfield Historical Cemetery. As I connected the people who lived here to greater world events, those far-off battles and distant declarations of war became more vivid.
To give you a sense of the breadth of service our cemetery represents, here are parts of the stories of two of our veterans:
Jacob Martin enlisted in Company G of the 115th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry in August 1862. His regiment was involved in some of the deadliest battles of the war. Jacob was shot twice over the course of his service with the Union Army, both times in his right leg. However, he was still well enough to take part in the war’s deadliest battle at Gettysburg. He was honorably discharged on May 31, 1865.
I always like to remember that wars are not solely fought by soldiers, nor is it solely fought by men. Marie Ward Reichelt is a perfect representation of how wars are also fought by the people the soldiers leave behind. Reichelt threw herself into assisting the United States during the “Great War,” sewing pajamas, knitting socks, and making bandages. She notes in The History of Deerfield, Illinois that the women were told that their labors could be “no less than titanic” and that “at home, and even in church and on trains the knitting needles flew.” Reichelt received a gold badge for completing eight hundred or more hours of work over the course of the war.
Our Veterans Tour
We are fortunate to be able to find out some of the stories of those buried in our cemetery. We have veterans from every war from the War of 1812 to Vietnam. The majority of our veterans are from the Civil War, and all fought for the Union.
If you are intrigued by these stories, join us for a guided tour of some of the veterans buried in the Deerfield Historical Cemetery on May 12 at 10:30 a.m. Register here.