Civil War Grave


For 97 years, Pvt. Joseph A. Fisher has been buried in an unmarked grave in Woodland Cemetery in Rosebush.

On behalf of the Swartz Creek Area Historical Society, the Native American veteran has now received a Civil War headstone and will be recognized for his service in a grave dedication ceremony on Oct. 10 at 11 a.m.

A similar event took place in Chippewa Cemetery on June 11 for Joseph’s older brother, Madison, whose grave had also remained unmarked since 1906.

The historical society’s president, Len Thomas, said the issue came to their attention when members Kristie and Scott Potter, descendants of the Fisher brothers, pointed out that there were no official Civil War headstones in place.

“They’re veterans and they deserve to be honored,” Thomas said. “The emphasis is now on WWII veterans, because it’s more recent, but the Civil War veterans served our country too, and put themselves in harm’s way on our own soil.”

At the time, the society had documents stating that Madison was in Chippewa Cemetery, but none about Joseph. However, they assumed he was also there since both brothers had worked on Crapo farm in the area so they ordered two government-issued headstones.

Thomas said the one for Madison arrived first and when Joseph’s came to his driveway, he received a letter from

Kristie. Through research, she had found a death certificate for the younger brother along with one for his wife Elizabeth “Eliza” Fisher, which revealed that Joseph lied buried next to Eliza in Woodland Cemetery.

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