G.A.R. Civil War Monument, New London

One of New London’s three monuments to its Civil War veterans anchors a burial plot in the city’s Cedar Grove Cemetery.

The ornate monument, near the cemetery’s main entrance, features an infantryman standing atop a multi-staged pedestal. A dedication on the front (north) face of the monument reads, “In memory of our comrades 1861-1865.”

The front face also bears the inscription “Erected by W.W. Perkins Post, No. 47, G.A.R.,” and features a medal symbolizing the Grand Army of the Republic, the post-Civil War veterans’ organization.

The monument is not dated, and information about its construction has not come to light. Based on the ornate decorative elements on the pedestal, Connecticut Historical Society estimates the erection date as about 1900.

The monument stands at the center of a triangular plot featuring 33 headstones of Civil War veterans in two rows. A plot with veterans of more recent conflicts stands south of the Civil War plot, and the prominence of Naval veterans reflects New London’s proud maritime heritage.

A tree just east of the plot was planted by the local Woman’s Relief Corps, a G.A.R. auxiliary organization. A different WRC branch erected the nearby Civil War monument in Stonington.

The G.A.R. Post was named after William W. Perkins, a New London resident and first lieutenant in the Tenth Regiment of the Connecticut Volunteer Infantry who was killed while fighting near Kinston, North Carolina.

Source: Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut

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