Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Stamford

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, StamfordThe city of Stamford honors veterans from the Colonial Wars through World War I with a 1920 monument in the heart of downtown.

The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, in St. John’s Memorial Park, bears more than 4,400 names of residents on five large bronze plaques.

The monument bears the dedication “In everlasting memory of Stamford’s patriots 1641-1918,” near its top. A peaked roof is topped by a sculpture of three eagles.

The marble monument is based on an ancient Greek monument honoring Lysicrates that also served as inspiration for the 1904 Soldiers’ Monument in Seymour. The Stamford monument features nine columns, and the spaces between the columns honor significant battles in the nation’s various wars.

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, StamfordFor example, the American Revolution section, listing the years 1775-1783, honors the battles of Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, Ticonderoga, Trenton, Saratoga, Bennington and Yorktown.

The base of the monument features five large plaques listing the names of residents who served in the nations war. World War I has two plaques of it own, and shares a plaque with the Spanish-American War and the Civil War. A fourth plaque honors veterans of the Civil War, the Mexican War in the 1840s and the War of 1812, and the fifth lists residents who served in the American Revolution as well as  the Colonial and Indian Wars between 1689 and 1763.

The World War I plaques list 26 columns of names, and honor 31 residents killed in the conflict.

The monument underwent an extensive cleaning in the summer of 2009.

A Doughboy statue with a fountain in its base stands near the southeast corner of the small park, which also features benches and walkways emanating from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument.

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, StamfordSource: Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, Stamford

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, Stamford

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, Stamford

Doughboy Statue, Stamford


Soldiers’ Monument, Milford

Soldiers’ Monument, MilfordMilford honors the common grave of 46 smallpox-infected Revolutionary War prisoners of war who died in the city in 1777 with a brownstone obelisk.

The 1852 monument, in Milford Cemetery, honors infected Continental soldiers who were released onto a Milford beach on January 1, 1777 by British forces. Many of the soldiers were able to leave Milford, but nearly a quarter died in the city.

A granite marker attached to the front (south) face of the monument reads, in part, “In honor of 46 American soldiers who sacrificed their lives in struggling for the independence of their country, this monument was erected in 1852 by the joint liberality of the General Assembly, people of Milford and other contributing friends.”

This dedication, which also explains some of the background behind the soldiers’ fate, was attached to the monument later. We’re assuming it was added in 1976 for the nation’s bicentennial, because a similar granite marker at the foot of the monument’s north face that lists Milford soldiers who fought in the revolution bears a 1976 date.

Soldiers’ Monument, MilfordThe south face also bears an inscribed Connecticut seal and 13 stars honoring the original colonies.

The east face of the brownstone obelisk bears an original inscription honoring Capt. Steven Stow, a Milford resident who cared for the infected soldiers unable to travel home. Stow contracted smallpox and died on February 8, 1777 at the age of 51.

The north and west faces list the deceased soldiers, who are buried in a common grave near the monument. The exact location of the grave is being studied by researchers, who are also looking for a time capsule mentioned in the program for the 1852 dedication.

The site has attracted considerable interest lately, with the discovery of a skull belonging to one of the prisoners at the University of Connecticut’s archaeology department. The skull, which belonged to the New Haven County Historical Society, is going to undergo DNA testing before it is buried, most likely in Milford Cemetery.

Soldiers’ Monument, MilfordA marker on Milford’s Gulf Beach, across the harbor from the actual landing site, honors the soldiers.

One of the infected prisoners, Herman Baker of Tolland, died on an East Hartford farm while attempting to return home. His grave is within the Pratt & Whitney complex, and is maintained by the company as a tribute to American soldiers.

Soldiers’ Monument, Milford

Soldiers’ Monument, Milford

Soldiers’ Monument, Milford

Herman Baker Grave, East Hartford

Herman Baker Grave, East HartfordThe grave of Sgt. Herman Baker, who served in the American Revolution, rests within the Pratt & Whitney complex on Willow Street in East Hartford.

Baker, a Tolland native who is also listed as “Heman” in some accounts, served with the Lexington Alarm, a local company that rushed to help the Minutemen after the revolution began with the 1775 Battle of Lexington-Concord.

Baker was captured by British forces in 1776, and contracted smallpox while in captivity. He was one of 200 infected Continental soldiers released onto Milford’s Gulf Beach on January 1, 1777. While trying to return home, Baker got as far as East Hartford before dying on a farm that, like several others surrounding it, would later be purchased by Pratt & Whitney.

Herman Baker Grave, East HartfordHis grave sits on the north side of today’s Willow Street, about a third of a mile east of the intersection with Main Street (if you’re driving toward Rentschler Field or Cabela’s, the grave is on your left).

The grave site is fenced by black piping, and a plaque placed at the western end of the site in 2004 explains the circumstances of Baker’s death. The site, which is maintained by Pratt & Whitney’s security team also has room for a car to park as well as a stone bench.

We’ll look at a Milford monument honoring 46 smallpox-infected soldiers who were released with Baker on Friday.

Herman Baker Grave, East Hartford

Herman Baker Grave, East Hartford

Herman Baker Grave, East Hartford

Memorial Plaques, Thompson

Civil War Plaque, ThompsonThompson has honored veterans of the Civil War, the Spanish-American War and the American Revolution with plaques affixed to boulders in two sections of town.

Civil War and Spanish-American War veterans are honored with a plaque on the Thompson Common along Route 193 (Thompson Road). The front (east) face of the plaque bears the inscription “Dedicated by the Town of Thompson to honor its soldiers of the Civil and Spanish Wars.”

The monument lists approximately 235 Civil War veterans as well as eight who served in the Spanish-American War. The monument also carries a catch-all dedication reading “This monument honors equally any soldier whose name has been unintentionally omitted.”

Civil War Plaque, ThompsonThe plaque is not dated, and information about its dedication has not been recorded.

In West Thompson Cemetery, also along Route 193, a monument was dedicated in 1916 to honor the 40 veterans of the American Revolution who are buried in the cemetery. A plaque, affixed to a boulder, lists the veterans and the ranks of officers.

Both monuments have flagpoles nearby.

Source:

Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut

American Revolution Plaque, Thompson

American Revolution Plaque, Thompson


Israel Putnam Monument, Brooklyn

Israel Putnam Monument, BrooklynRevolutionary War hero Israel Putnam is honored with an equestrian monument at his burial site on Canterbury Road (Route 169) in Brooklyn, CT.

The monument was dedicated in 1888 to honor Putnam, a Massachusetts native who served with distinction during the French and Indian War and who later abandoned his plow in the field to join the Continental Army when the American Revolution began.

Putnam is depicted directing troops on horseback. His horse faces east, and Putnam is looking toward the north. Large granite slabs on the north and south faces bear biographical and inspirational messages that were inscribed on Putnam’s original headstone.

Israel Putnam Monument, BrooklynThe wolves on the east and west faces refer to an incident in which Putnam ventured into a cave to kill a wolf that was helping herself to local farmer’ sheep.

Upon his death in 1790, Putnam was buried in an aboveground tomb in Brooklyn’s South Cemetery. Over the years, souvenir hunters had removed fragments of the headstone and the overall condition of the tomb was deemed unsuitable for General Putnam.

Sculptor Karl Gerhardt, also responsible for the nearby Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument as well as Civil War monuments in New York and New Jersey, was chosen to create a monument that would provide a new home for Putnam’s remains. Putnam was placed in a sarcophagus in the base, and the original headstone inscription was recreated on the monument. (The original headstone was put on display in the state capitol.)

The vintage postcard appearing below was postmarked in 1907. The yellow building next to the monument has since been replaced by a Post Office.

North of the monument, a plaque on a boulder marks the site of Putnam’s Brooklyn farm and tavern.

Israel Putnam Monument, BrooklynPutnam commanded Continental forces during the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775, and may have issued the famous command not to fire until troops saw the white of the British soldiers’ eyes. Putnam was forced to retreat from New York during the 1776 Battle of Long Island.

Putnam’s military career was ended by a stroke in 1779, while the general and the Connecticut militia was in winter camp in Redding. The encampment site is now Putnam State Park.

Putnam was also honored with statues in the state park and Hartford’s Bushnell Park. The town of Putnam, just north of Brooklyn, was named after him, as were eight counties.

Israel Putnam Monument, Brooklyn

Israel Putnam Monument, Brooklyn

Israel Putnam Monument, Brooklyn

Putnam Homestead Site, Brooklyn

Israel Putnam Monument, Brooklyn

War and Samuel Baldwin Memorials, Woodbridge

War Memorial, WoodbridgeA black granite slab mounted outside the town’s police department honors Woodbridge’s veterans.

The monument, dedicated in 1994 by Woodbridge’s  Lt. G. Bronson Bedworth Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, bears the inscription “In everlasting tribute to the men and women of Woodbridge who have served their nation with honor to preserve freedom.”

The polished granite slab is topped by a gold-colored eagle, and has medallions representing the various military service branches mounted on separate slabs. Two granite-topped benches, a flagpole and a variety of ornamental shrubs complete the monument site, outside the police station on Meetinghouse Lane.

War Memorial, WoodbridgeA small boulder on Racebrook Road, slightly north of the intersection with Ansonia Road, marks the former homestead of American Revolution veteran Samuel Baldwin, who was killed in present-day West Haven during the 1779 British attack on New Haven. The boulder features a bronze plaque listing the dates of Mr. Baldwin’s birth and date, and explaining the monument’s location at his former home. 

 

 

 

War Memorial, Woodbridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samuel Baldwin Memorial, Woodbridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samuel Baldwin Memorial, Woodbridge

War Memorial Boulder, Northford

War Memorial Boulder, NorthfordA boulder on Middletown Avenue in the Northford section of North Branford honors local residents who served in the wars between the American Revolution and World War II.

The boulder was first dedicated in 1920, when the bronze plaque on the front (east) face honored veterans of the American Revolution, Civil War and the World War. The monument’s dedication reads “Erected in 1920 by the Society of Northford in honor of her sons who answered their country’s call.”

The American Revolution section lists 50 names. The Civil War section lists 32 names, and the World War Honor Roll lists nine names.

The boulder sits in a small triangular area where Middletown Avenue intersects with Clintonville and Old Post roads. The church uphill from the monument is the Northford Congregational Church.

War Memorial Boulder, NorthfordThe rear side of the monument bears an undated plaque (obviously added after the war) that honors World War II veterans. The plaque lists the names of 78 local residents who served in the war, with stars indicating the names of two residents who were killed in the conflict. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

War Memorial Boulder, Northford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

War Memorial Boulder, Northford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

War Memorial Boulder, Northford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:

Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut

British Raid Monument and David Wooster Grave, Danbury

British Raid Monument, DanburyA boulder on Main Street in Danbury commemorates the burning of several local buildings by British forces who invaded the city on April 26, 1777. 

After landing in Westport the day before, about 2,000 British troops entered Danbury with plans to attack war supplies being stored in the city. The troops destroyed food, medicine and ammunition, including a large grain-packed barn on Main Street that was burned.

The troops were also ordered to destroy a supply of local rum, but chose instead to drink it.

British General William Tryon (who would invade New Haven two years later) received a warning that Continental militia forces were in Bethel and planned to attack the troops. Tryon gathered his forces and began to evacuate Danbury. As they were leaving the city, the troops began burning houses of Continental supporters. All told, they burned 19 homes, and 22 storehouses and barns, in the city. 

British Raid Monument, DanburyThe Connecticut militia sent forces from New Haven and Fairfield, who united under the command of Gen. David Wooster. After discussions in Bethel, about 400 troops commanded by Benedict Arnold (who hadn’t yet turned traitor) and Selleck Silliman set up a roadblock in Ridgefield and Wooster circled around to attack the British from the rear. 

During fighting near Ridgefield, Wooster was killed by a musket ball that struck his back.   Arnold’s troops provided fierce resistance before being repelled by the British forces. The militia then launched a series of small skirmish attacks as the troops retreated to Westport and the safety of their ships, which they reached on April 28. 

In Danbury, the invasion is marked by a boulder that sits in a small park on Main Street. The monument, not far from the city’s 9/11 memorial, has a bronze plaque that summarizes the battle. In part, the plaque reads “The Revolutionary Village which centered about this green with its store of supplies for the army was sacked and burned by a force of two thousand British, April 26, 1777.”

British Raid Monument, DanburyWooster, a native of Stratford (where a middle school is named after him), is buried in Wooster Cemetery, which is not far from the invasion monument. His grave is marked by a tall reddish obelisk that was erected by the Masons in 1854. The front (south) face bears a bas relief image of Wooster’s death. The east face has an image with symbolism that escapes us. The north and west faces have biographical information about Wooster’s life and contributions to the young United States as well as to the Masons. 

 

 

 

David Wooster Monument, Danbury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Wooster Monument, Danbury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Wooster Monument, Danbury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Wooster Monument, Danbury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Wooster Monument, Danbury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:

Connecticut by Albert E. Van Dusen (Random House, 1961)


British Raid Monuments, Westport

British Raid Monument, WestportSeveral monuments on and near Westport’s Compo Beach mark the starting and ending point of the invasion of Danbury by British forces who landed there on April 25, 1777. 

The British brought about 2,000 troops to Westport, who planned to destroy war supplies being stored about 20 miles north in Danbury. The British spent the night in Weston before reaching Danbury on April 26, where they destroyed food, medicine and ammunition (but didn’t do a great job of destroying a cache of rum, which they drank instead). 

Warned of the pending arrival of local militia, the British evacuated Danbury and retreated south, engaging in battles in Ridgefield and Westport before sailing away on April 28. The British suffered more than 200 casualties in the fighting, and the Americans had 20 men killed and 40 wounded. 

Westport marks the battles with three monuments. At the intersection of Compo Road South and Post Road East, a boulder bears a plaque reading “Here occured the first engagement between the Continentals and the British Troops when they invaded Connecticut April-25-1777.” The plaque was dedicated in 1914 by the Connecticut Society Sons of the American Revolution. 

Minuteman Monument, WestportThe site, on a small traffic median, is also marked by a brown hanging sign bearing the Connecticut logo and the inscription “One mile south at Compo Beach, 2000 British Troops landed April 25, 1777, for raid on Danbury.”

A bit further down Compo Road, Westport’s Minuteman monument kneels atop a traffic circle at the intersection of Compo Road South and Compo Beach Road. The monument depicts a musket-wielding Continental soldier waiting with his sleeves rolled up for the returning Redcoats. 

A plaque on the north side of the base reads “To commemorate the heroism of the patriots who defended their country when the British invaded this state April 25th 1777. General David Wooster, Colonel Abraham Gould and more than one hundred Continentals fell in the engagements commencing at Danbury and closing on Compo Hill”  

Minuteman Monument, WestportThe monument, created by sculptor Harry Daniel Webster, was cast by Tiffany Studios in 1910. 

Continuing south to Compo Beach, a pair of large cannons have been mounted on a granite base to commemorate the fighting on and near the beach as the British returned to their ships. The cannons, whose markings can’t be distinguished, were donated by the U.S. government. The monument, dedicated in 1901, was restored in 1999. 

(On Friday, we’ll look at Danbury’s monument to the invasion and the nearby grave of Gen. David Wooster.) 

 

 

Minuteman Monument, Westport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compo Beach cannons, Westport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compo Beach cannons, Westport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Defenders’ Monument, New Haven

Defender's MonumentThe Defenders’ Monument, located at the intersection where Columbus and Davenport avenues meet Ella Grasso Boulevard (Route 10) in New Haven, commemorates the more than 150 local militia and students who combined to harass British troops who invaded the city on July 5, 1779.

During the invasion, British troops attempting to capture a powder mill in the city’s Westville section were repulsed by New Haven residents and militia, including forces from nearby towns. The troops eventually began looting nearby homes and businesses, and spent the night on the New Haven green. The next morning, the troops returned to their ships (burning several warehouses near the harbor along the way) and sailed to Fairfield on July 7.

During the attack, 27 residents were killed.1913 Postcard

The monument was dedicated in 1910, and depicts the combined efforts of local militia, residents and students in defending the city. As you can see from a vintage postcard (with a 1913 postmark), the gentleman on the left (as you face the monument) used to carry a ramrod that has been lost to vandalism or theft over the years. Now he’s primarily lending moral support. Also, the monument has been fenced in, perhaps in response to the ramrod disappearance.

Artist and sculptor James E. Kelly was also responsible for at least a dozen historic monuments, including the statues of John Buford in Gettysburg, George Washington at New York’s Federal Hall and the Monmouth Battle Monument in New Jersey.

The monument sits at the base of a small park that’s flanked by two cemeteries (St. Bernard’s to the south and Evergreen to the north). Both include Civil War monuments that will be featured in a future entry.

Defenders' Monument

Defenders' Monument

Update: The British troop landing site at West Haven’s Bradley Point is commemorated with a plaque on a small boulder.

British Troop Landing Site, West Haven

British Troop Landing Site, West Haven

Sources:
-Vision in the Sky, New Haven’s Early Years 1638-1783. Myrna Kagan, Linnet Books, 1989.
-Burpee’s the Story of Connecticut, Charles W, Burpee, American Historical Company, Inc., 1939