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News Release from The Catholic Cemeteries
September 12, 2012

Contact: Linda Radtke, 651-488-8866

150 years after the Civil War

Grave of St. Paul soldier who died at the Battle of Antietam to be rededicated at historic Calvary Cemetery on September 22

In observance of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the grave of a soldier from St. Paul who was killed at the Battle of Antietam in 1862 will be rededicated at historic Calvary Cemetery, 753 Front Avenue, St. Paul, on Saturday, September 22, at 11 a.m.

At the event, which is open to the public, Civil War re-enactors will take part in the unveiling of a new commemorative stone marker in memory of Pvt. Edmund Sampare, a member of the U.S. Sharpshooters.

Pvt. Sampare was killed on September 17, 1862, at the Battle of Antietam. After the battle, his body was returned to St. Paul for burial at Calvary. Calvary was founded in 1856 by Bishop Joseph Cretin, the first bishop of Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Antietam was the single bloodiest day of battle in American history with about 23,000 casualties on both sides. The battle took place in Sharpsburg, Maryland and was the first major battle in the Civil War to take place on Union soil.

Co-sponsored by the Governor’s Civil War Commemorative Task Force and by The Catholic Cemeteries of The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the event will feature MN Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, The Honorable Judge LaJune Lange, Dr. Joseph FitzHarris, professor emeritus of the University of St. Thomas as well as re-enactors from the First MN Regiment and the Third MN Regiment.

The presentations will focus on the Battle of Antietam and its consequences, the role of the Sharpshooters and the First Minnesota regiment in the Battle.  The names of all Minnesota soldiers killed at Antietam will be read.  Additionally, September 22 is significant as it was on this day in 1862 that Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.  This momentous event will also be remembered during the rededication.

“It is important for us to remember the sacrifice made by soldiers like Pvt. Sampare, and we invite members of the community to join us at this special ceremony of remembrance,” said John Cherek, director of The Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

This is the third and final Civil War Battle Remembrance Event to be held in 2012. It is part of a series of ceremonies to commemorate and remember the participation of Minnesota Civil War soldiers by dedicating the graves of comrades who were killed and returned for burial to Minnesota. Approximately 25,000 Minnesotans fought for the Union during the war.

At Calvary, Pvt. Sampare's marble and limestone upright headstone was laid down flat on his grave some time after 1940, in order to protect the marble from further erosion from the elements. Over the years, the marker settled and became overgrown making it difficult to find. Ken Flies of Eagan, a writer and lecturer on Civil War history and a member of the Minnesota Historical Society, researched and located the grave in 2011.

To learn more about the Governor’s Civil War Commemorative Task Force, go to (www.mncivilwar150.com). For questions about the event at Calvary Cemetery, call 651-488-8866.