The monument, in a triangular park at the intersection of the Boston Post Road (Route 1) and Pearl Street, features a bronze statue of a Civil War officer and an eagle atop an ornate granite obelisk. The eagle is a 2008 replacement for the original, which had been stolen (as was a smaller replacement for the first stolen eagle).
The front (southwest) face of the monument features a bronze statue of Lt. Col. Nelson B. Bartram, a Port Chester native who commanded the 17th New York Infantry Regiment before commanding the 20th Regiment of the United States Colored Troops. Bartram’s units saw action at Antietam as well as both Battles of Bull Run and the New Orleans region.
A plaque on the southeast face of the monument’s base is dedicated “To the Union Defence (sic) Committee of the Town of Rye who pledged their honor to sustain the government and ensure a successful outcome of the war of the rebellion.”
Ornate scrollwork near the top of the monument features the U.S. seal, and the other faces are decorated with stone wreaths that surround Union Army corps symbols.
The monument was designed by John Massey Rhind, whose Connecticut commissions include the statue of Samuel Colt and the Corning Fountain in Hartford, as well as statues outside the New Haven County Courthouse. Rhind also designed four monuments on the Gettysburg battlefield and numerous other public monuments and statues.
Rhind’s statue of Bartram was cast three years before the monument’s formal dedication, which was delayed by objections from some local veterans that the monument was honoring an officer, instead of an enlisted man.