Civil War soldier William Butcher, who is buried in Fenton’s Oakwood Cemetery, came to the U.S. from England at age 18. He saw a lot of action during the war as a member of Company I in the Sixth Michigan Cavalry, from September 1862 to July 1865.
After the war, he lived in Holly and became one of Fenton’s primary businessmen, said Fenton Cemetery Board President Doug Tebo. Butcher was a lifelong member of the Baptist Church, was part of the Soldiers Relief Commission and more.
“He was happy doing philanthropic work,” Tebo said.
Butcher’s story, and that of 21 other Civil War soldiers, will be highlighted during the 5th Annual Oakwood Cemetery History Walk. Seven of the soldiers came to the Fenton area from New York, he said. Re-enactors and members of the Fenton Village Players will take on the roles of the veterans and their families with information found in the pages of history.
The free event is from 1-4 p.m. on Oct. 6, at the cemetery. Oakwood Cemetery is located at the south end of Davis Street, off Shiawassee Avenue in Fenton. It will take place rain or shine.
“We’re hoping for a nice day, no rain this year,” Tebo said.
Just under 200 attended last year’s History Walk, he said. He is hoping for more than 200 this year.
Tebo’s son, Matt Adair, researched the military aspects of the soldiers’ lives, while Donna Seger, of the Fenton Historical Society, examined what they did after the war.
Len Thomas, a retired teacher who lives in Swartz Creek, will be at the History Walk with his newest historical book, Tebo said. Thomas gave a presentation on Lucy Blanchard, a Civil War nurse, for the Fenton Historical Society last year.
“It will be a really fun day,” Tebo said.
The History Walk is presented by the Fenton Historical Society, Fenton Village Players, Fenton Cemetery Board; Gov. Crapo Camp #145, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War; Daughters of the Union, Lt. Edwin Carrington, Genesee Chapter; and re-enactors of the 24th Michigan Infantry, Iron Brigade.
Roger Sharp, of Sharp Funeral Homes, is providing a tent for refreshments.