Soldiers’ Monument, Danbury

Soldiers' Monument, DanburyThe Soldiers’ Monument at the corner of West Street and Main Street in Danbury was dedicated in 1880 to honor local Civil War heroes. 

The monument differs from the Civil War monuments in other Connecticut towns in a number of ways. First, it features a round column, instead of the more-common four-sided, pointed shaft. Second, the standard-bearing figure topping the granite column was carved from Italian marble. 

Additionally, the highlighted battles are listed in a spiral pattern that starts from the base of the monument and scrolls up to the decorative details beneath the standard-bearer’s platform. 

The monument’s front (east) base bears a dedication “to our brothers, beloved, honored, revered, who died that our country might live.” Just above the inscription, a wreath hook has been drilled into the monument’s base. The rear face reads “the defenders of the Union.”  

Soldiers' Monument, DanburyOn the column, the monument lists the following battles: Bull Run (near Manassas, Va.), Wilderness (near Spotsylvania, Va.)  Antietam (Sharpsburg, Md.), Fredericksburg (Va.), Gettysburg, Chancellorsville (Va.), Petersburg (Va.) and Port Hudson (La.). Since the battles don’t follow chronological or alphabetical order, we’re not sure how the sequence was determined. 

The monument sits in a small triangular park that also features a flagpole, a decorative lamppost and tasteful shrubbery along its West Street sides.


Soldiers' Monument, Danbury
Soldiers' Monument, Danbury

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Greenwich

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, GreenwichGreenwich’s Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, dedicated in 1890, sits on a hill at the intersection of East Putnam and Maple avenues. 

The monument is topped by a standard-bearer, similar to monuments in Unionville and St. Bernard’s Cemetery in New Haven that have been highlighted in previous posts. 

The Greenwich monument faces south, and an inscription just above the base bears the town name and a dedication “to her loyal sons who fought for the Union,” as well as the years of the Civil War. The front of the monument also lists three battle sites: Kingston (Ga.), Morris Island (S.C.) and Antietam.  

The east side of the monument lists Appomattox, Gettysburg, Vicksburg and Port Hudson (La.). The south side lists Drury’s Bluff, Petersburg and Deep Run (all in Virginia), and the west side lists New-Berne (N.C.) , Darbytown Road (Va.), Fort Fisher (N.C.) and Fort Gregg (S.C.). 

Across Maple Avenue, a 1932 plaque on the Second Congregational Church commemorates a 1789 visit by George Washington, who “paused here on the Post Road near this church and afterward wrote in his diary ‘the superb landscape which is to be seen from the meeting house is a rich regalia.’” The plaque was dedicated as part of Washington bicentennial celebrations. 

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Greenwich










Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Greenwich












Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Greenwich












Washington Visit Plaque, Greenwich













Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut

Soldiers’ Monument, Waterbury

Soldiers' Monument, WaterburyThe elaborate Civil War monument at the west end of Waterbury’s green was dedicated in 1884 to honor local residents who served in the conflict, and, uncommonly among monuments of the era, addresses some of the social changes brought about by the war. 

The monument, nearly 50 feet tall, is topped by an allegorical statue representing Victory. She stands atop a granite column that features four bronze statues representing the fact that people from all walks of life participated in (or were affected by) the war. 

The west face, for instance, features a farmer clutching a rifle. On the north side, a seated soldier, with bedroll and rifle handy, is resting. The east face features a laborer with a sword in his hand. 

Soldiers’ Monument, WaterburyThe sculpture on the south face makes a rare reference to the emancipation of slaves by depicting a woman with a book reading to two children — one is white, and the other is African-American. This represents the new educational opportunities possible since the  elimination of slavery. 

The west face also features a bas-relief sculpture depicting a pitched battle, and the east face displays the naval battle between the ironclad ships the Monitor and the Merrimac. 

The south face carries a dedication “in honor of the patriotism and to perpetuate the memory of the more than 900 brave men who went forth from this town to fight in the war for the Union, this monument has been erected by their townsmen that all who come after them may be mindful of their deeds, and fail not in the day of trial to emulate their example.”

The north face bears a somewhat florid poem written by the Rev. Dr. Joseph Anderson:

Brave men, who rallying at your country’s call,

Went forth to fight, if heaven willed, to fall!

Returned, ye walk with us through summer years

And hear a nation say, God bless you all!

Brave men, who yet a heavier burden bore,

And came not home to hearts by grief made sore!

The call you dead, but lo! Ye grandly love,

Shrined in the nation’s love forever more!

The traffic island hosting the monument (a location that hinders careful examination or photography) features four lampposts with shafts that are shaped like cannons with rifles leaning against them.

Soldiers’ Monument, Waterbury









Soldiers’ Monument, Waterbury









Soldiers’ Monument, Waterbury










Source: CHS: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, West Haven

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, West HavenThe Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in West Haven’s Oak Grove Cemetery was dedicated in 1890, when West Haven was still part of Orange. (West Haven was split off from Orange in 1921, and was incorporated as a city in 1961.)

The monument sits in a round traffic island near the center of the cemetery. Inscriptions on the front (south) face bear the years of the Civil War, along with a dedication “erected in honor of our loyal soldiers and sailors.”

The obelisk is topped by a polished granite sphere, and a carved stars-and-stripes motif surrounds the monument just below the polished sphere. The front face also features a three-dimensional bronze sculpture of an eagle surrounded by flags, cannons, crossed swords and oak leaves. 

A smaller granite marker at the base of the monument was dedicated in 1964 by a local VFW post. The inscription reads “In grateful tribute to the living and the dead who through their valiant effort and supreme sacrifice have helped to preserve us a free nation.”

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, West HavenThe curbing around the monument bears of the names of several Civil War veterans who were originally buried near the monument, but who were moved in subsequent years. 










Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, West Haven









Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, West Haven










Soldiers’ Monument, Naugatuck

Soldiers' Monument, NaugatuckThe Soldiers’ Monument on Naugatuck’s Town Green was dedicated in 1885 to honor local residents who served in the Civil War. 

The monument, which sits at the center of the green, features a granite shaft topped by a statue of a caped infantryman resting with a rifle. The front (east) face of the monument lists the battles of Fort Wagner (S.C., near Charleston), the Wilderness (in central Virginia) and Cedar Mountain (Va.). Just above the base is the dedication by the people of Naugatuck “in memory of her sons who fought to maintain the Union 1861-1865.”

The south face (to the soldier’s right) doesn’t list any battles, but does ask that the “God of nations preserve our country in the bond of peace now established,” a message that reflects the broader spirit of reconciliation the country was experiencing during that era. By then, the post-war bitterness of Reconstruction had started to fade, and preservation efforts were being made at major battlefields such as Gettysburg.    

The rear (west) face of the monument lists the battles of Chancelorsville (Va.), Petersburg (Va.) and Antietam (Md), as well as a dedication to “the citizen soldier, fearless in war, industrious in peace.”

Soldiers’ Monument, NaugatuckThe north face lists the battles of Malvern Hill (Va.), Getttysburg and Atlanta, and a message reminding us that “the deeds of those who died in defense of the government of the people are immortal.”

The Naugatuck monument is enclosed with a circular planting bed, and a stone fountain sits immediately behind the monument. Further back, across Meadow Street, is Salem School, which was built in 1893 and is itself listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The vintage postcard depicting the monument was postmarked in 1905 and mailed to the Woodmont section of Milford. 





Soldiers’ Monument, Naugatuck










Soldiers’ Monument, Naugatuck
























Soldiers’ Monument, Unionville

Soldiers' Monument, UnionvilleThe Soldiers’ Monument in the Unionville section of Farmington was dedicated in 1916 to honor residents of the village who served in the Civil War.

The monument features three figures — a standard-bearer stands atop the column, while its base is flanked by an artillery soldier on one side and an infantryman on the other. Infantry, artillery, calvary and naval symbols grace the column. The front column also features the logo of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Union veterans’ fraternal organization.

The front of the base is inscribed with “Unionville honors the earth that wraps her heroes’ clay.”

The monument was funded primarily by Captain Nathaniel C. Hayden, a veteran of the 16th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers who was wounded in the battle of Antietam. Capt. Hayden was a successful local businessman who lobbied for funds to build the monument. Eventually, he had it built himself. Fortunately, he lived long enough to attend the dedication.

The monument sits near the First Church of Christ Congregational at the intersections of Main Street (Route 4), School Street and Lovely Street (Route 177).

Soldiers' Monument, UnionvilleDiagonally across the intersection is a memorial to 19 Unionville residents who died in the two world wars, Korea and Vietnam.

The name for the village of Unionville refers to its location near the corners of the towns of Farmington, Avon and Burlington.

Soldiers' Monument, Unionville

Soldiers' Monument, Unionville

War memorial, Unionville

War memorial, Unionville


Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments in Connecticut

Soldiers’ Monument, Derby

Soldiers' Monument, DerbyDerby’s Civil War monument, on the Elizabeth Street side of the town green, honors soldiers from Derby and Huntington (a predecessor of today’s city of Shelton) who served and died in the war. 

The Derby monument has two dedication dates. The base was dedicated in 1877. Six years later, after additional funds were raised, the based was remodeled and the infantryman statue was added. (As a side benefit, this allows you to have two dedication ceremonies, as well as the associated parades and parties.) 

Even without the figure, the monument would be impressive. The front and rear plaques honor the men of Derby and Huntington who fell during the war of the rebellion, and the side plaques list about 81 names and regimental affiliations of local residents killed during the conflict. 

Soldiers' Monument, DerbyOne side also features a brief excerpt from the “Bivouac of the Dead” poem by Theodore O’Hara, which appears on plaques and monuments in many National and Confederate cemeteries.

The base has raised inscriptions listing the battles of Atlanta, Chancellorsville (Va.), New Bern (N.C.) and Gettysburg.  

The four cannons at the base of the Derby monument are 30-pounder Parrott rifles that were manufactured in 1861 at the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, New York. Similar cannons can be found at the Civil War monument in Seymour, which will be profiled in a future post. 

The Derby Green also features monuments to local veterans of the world wars, Korea and Vietnam, as well as a second memorial listing nine residents who were killed in Korea and Vietnam. A bell at the southwest corner of the green honors local firefighters. 



























Soldiers' Monument, Derby












Veterans' monument, Derby










Korea and Vietnam memorial, Derby










Firefighters' memorial, Derby











Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments in Connecticut

Knight Hospital Monument, New Haven

Knight Hospital Monument, Evergreen CemeteryThe Knight Hospital Monument in New Haven’s Evergreen Cemetery was dedicated in 1870 to honor the 204 wounded Civil War veterans who died in the hospital and were buried near the monument. 

The fact that the monument is not dedicated to veterans from a specific town or regiment makes it very uncommon among Civil war monuments. 

The monument’s column, topped by a bearded soldier, also bears shields with Connecticut and U.S. emblems as well as the names of several important battles, including Gettysburg, New Bern (N.C., spelled as ‘New Berne’), Fort Fisher (N.C)  and Fredericksburg (Va).

More than 120 graves of Civil War veterans are located around the base of the monument, which is located on the Winthrop Avenue side of  Evergreen Cemetery.

Knight Hospital was a temporary facility that opened in 1862 to treat soldiers wounded in the Civil War. The U.S. government leased a building from New Haven’s State Hospital, a predecessor of today’s Yale-New Haven Hospital. The hospital was named after Jonathan Knight, president of General Hospital Society of Connecticut’s board and a professor at the Medical Institution of Yale College.

Knight Hospital treated more than 25,000 patients during the Civil War, which impressed us if you consider the difficulty of transporting wounded soldiers from North Carolina or Virginia back to Connecticut while during a time of war. 

Knight Hospital Monument, Evergreen Cemetery









Evergreen Cemetery










Knight Hospital Monument, Evergreen Cemetery













Connecticut Historical Society

New Haven’s Hospitals Exhibit (Cushing/Whitney Memorial Library)

Soldiers’ Monument, New Haven

Soldiers' Monument, New HavenThe Soldiers’ Monument in New Haven’s St. Bernard’s Cemetery was dedicated (most likely) in 1889 by the state of Connecticut to honor residents killed in the Civil War. The monument is different from many war monuments of the era in several ways. 

For example, the solider atop the monument is a flag-bearer, instead of the more common infantryman holding a rifle. In addition, the large cross on the front of the monument is unusual, and probably reflects the monument’s construction in a Catholic cemetery. 

A stone eagle graces front side of the top of the column, beneath the soldier’s feet, and the other three sides have shields decorated with a stars-and-stripes motif. 

The inscription on the front face of the monument dedicates it to the CT residents who gave their lives “that the Union should not perish.”

During the Civil War, Connecticut furnished 55,861 troops, sailors and marines to the Union effort, and 5,354 were killed in battle, or died of disease, as prisoners, in accidents or from other non-battle-related causes. 

The area around the base of the monument in St. Bernard’s holds the grave sites of numerous veterans not only of the Civil War, but also other conflicts. 

Soldiers' Monument, New HavenSt. Bernard’s Cemetery is within eyesight of the Defenders’ Monument profiled on January 28, 2009.











Soldiers' Monument, New Haven









St. Bernard's Cemetery, New Haven










CT Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut

The Civil War Home Page

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Milford

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, Milford, facing west

This week, we look at several monuments on (or near) the green at the heart of downtown Milford, which was founded in 1639. We’ll start with the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, which was dedicated in 1888 to commemorate local residents who served in the Civil War.

The four sides of the monument beneath the soldier lists battle locations of Gettysburg, Fort Fisher (North Carolina), Port Hudson (Louisiana) and Appomattox, and also feature several symbolic icons.

A flower bed at the base of the monument helps to discourage active interaction with the monument during warmer weather.

The flagpole in the background of the image facing away from the monument was built in 1954, and is dedicated to the citizens of Milford who have lost their lives in World War II, Korea and Vietnam (monuments honoring those wars will be featured later this week). Its 15-sided base includes 13 stone markers listing the names of 93 local residents killed in those conflicts.

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, Milford, facing east

As you can see from the vintage postcard below, a gazebo has long stood near the monument. The card’s postmark is unclear, but the back is divided, so it was printed after 1907. If you look in the lower left corner (enlarged in the next image), you’ll see a horse-drawn delivery carriage.

In front of the monument is a memorial fountain erected by the Ford family to honor their ancestor Thomas Ford, one of Milford’s founders. The fountain is  used today as a planter.






















Memorial Fountain, Milford Green











Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments in Connecticut

Milford, Connecticut, 350th Anniversary Book (1639-1964)

History of Milford Connecticut 1639-1939, Federal Writers’ Project, 1939 (1973 reprint by the Milford Historical Society)