A sad but consistent theme in human history is that young people die in large numbers in wartime. Edgerton Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in Sterling Heights, is the final resting place for three Union soldiers from the Civil War.
Charles W. Scribner made the trip from Sterling Township to Utica and enlisted in the 22 Michigan Infantry, Company F.
The father of two boys was 33 at the time of his enlistment. Corporal Scribner never even made it into battle. From Utica, he was shipped to Grand Rapids, and along with many other soldiers, contracted measles at the Union Army camp. Corporal Scribner recovered enough to travel a bit further south, but soon turned ill again and died at the City General Hospital in Indianapolis in February of 1864. Corporal Scribner was among the 4 officers and 306 enlisted men of the 22 Michigan Infantry who died due from disease during the Civil War.
The Drake brothers, 21-year-old George and 30-year-old Milon, fought with Company B of the 22 Michigan Infantry. The soldiers in Company B came primarily from Macomb County. George held the rank of private, while Milon was a corporal.
Company B engaged in numerous fierce battles, including the infamous siege of Atlanta lead by General William T. Sherman. The 22nd also fought several violent skirmishes against roving guerrilla Confederate forces. Unfortunately for these Michigan soldiers, they were all too often on the losing side of the battlefield.
Private George B. Drake met his fate at Chattanooga in August of 1864. Corporal Milon Drake died at the end of the Civil War, in April of 1865. The Drakes were part of the 3 officers and 86 enlisted men killed in action. Initially buried in the National Cemetery in Chattanooga, TN (where they still have memorial markers for both brothers), the Drake family had the bodies sent to Edgerton where they lay in their final resting place.
In total, the 22 Michigan Infantry lost 399 men to disease and battle deaths.