June 20, 2012 - Although he died 169 years ago, there's a soldier buried in Addison Township's Lakeville Cemetery whose service to this nation will never be forgotten.
Reading the marker next to Pvt. Derrick Hulick’s tombstone are U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Mark Handsy and his 7½-year-old son Ethan Handsy. Both are Shelby Twp. residents. Handsy is with the 338th Army Band based in Livonia. He played Taps during the ceremony. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
On Saturday, June 16, a special bronze marker was dedicated, blessed and placed at the grave of Pvt. Derrick Hulick (1759-1843), who fought in both the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
The marker was placed there with reverence by the Rochester-based Stoney Creek Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) with the aid of the Lakeville Cemetery Auxiliary, American Legion Post 108, North Oakland VFW Post 334 and AMVETS Post 108.
"May we never forget those who fought for the freedom of our new country," said Elizabeth Golding, chaplain of the DAR Stoney Creek Chapter.
Founded in 1890 and chartered by the U.S. Congress, the DAR's mission is to promote the tenants of historic preservation, education and patriotism. Members are women 18 years or older who can prove lineal, bloodline descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence from Britain.
The DAR Stoney Creek Chapter was organized in February 1900 in Pontiac and first marked Hulick's simple grave in 1916.
Over the years, the original marker went missing. No one knows what happened to it.
"One of the goals of my term (in office) is to go through and mark more of the patriots' graves, so we give them the recognition they deserve," said Kelly VanWormer, regent of the DAR Stoney Creek Chapter. "This is one of the first ones that we're doing."
"My father, my husband and my brother have all served our country as well as my grandfathers. It's just very important to make sure that the patriots get the recognition that they deserve," she added.
"Certainly, it's important to remember our history, especially for our children," said Pat VanWormer, a past regent of the DAR Stoney Creek Chapter. "Here's somebody who fought for your freedom in the Revolutionary War buried locally. They tend to think it happened out east, so everybody's buried out east and that's not true."
Oakland County contains the graves of 33 Revolutionary War veterans. Hulick is the only one buried in the tri-township area of Addison, Oxford and Orion.
Born in Montgomery Township, New Jersey, Hulick enlisted as a private in that state's militia on June 1, 1776 at the age of 17 and served for 29 months. He served additional time in the militia as a substitute for his father.
The New Jersey militia fought in the battles of Trenton, Princeton, Millstone and Monmouth. Records indicate Hulick was involved in the Battle of Monmouth on June 26, 1778, which resulted in a costly delay for the British as they crossed New Jersey.
Following the Revolutionary War, Hulick settled in Oxford Township – located in Warren County, New Jersey – to raise a family.
He later fought in the War of 1812, which is often thought of as America's second war of independence against Britain.
In 1839, at the age of 80, Hulick moved to Addison Township, Michigan to live with his daughter Mary and son-in-law Dennis Snyder. The Snyders, who were among Addison's founding families, lived in Section 33 of the township, which today is part of Addison Oaks County Park.
Hulick died in 1843 and was the first person to be buried in Lakeville Cemetery.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.