War Memorial, Eastford

Eastford honors its war veterans with a monument on the green in front of its public library.

The monument, a granite block with bronze plaques, stands at the intersections of Eastford Road (Route 198) with Westford and Old Colony roads.

The monument’s south face features a bronze Honor Roll plaque listing about 63 names of World War II veterans. The monument indicates the three Eastford residents killed in the war.

On the monument’s north face, the upper plaque reads, “In memory of Eastford men who served: Six or more in the American Revolution, two in the War of 1812, two in the Mexican War, one in the Spanish-American War and Gen. Nathaniel Lyon and those 89 comrades of the Civil War. Let those who shall come after see that these men shall not be forgotten.”

The lower Honor  Roll plaque lists 19 residents who served in World War I.

The monument is undated, but the “World War” reference probably indicates it was originally dedicated in the 1920s or 30s.

Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, the first Union general killed in the Civil War, is buried in Eastford’s General Lyon Cemetery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Lyon Cemetery, Eastford

The first Union general killed in the Civil War is one of several veterans buried in Eastford’s General Lyon Cemetery.

Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, an Eastford native and West Point graduate, was killed in August of 1861 while fighting in Missouri.

Lyon is honored with a marble monument near the middle of the small cemetery, which was founded in 1805 and is located on today’s General Lyon Road.

The front (east) face of the marble monument features a carved portrait of Lyon leading troops on horseback and the simple inscription, “Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, U.S.A.”

The east face also bears an elaborate trophy featuring the United States shield and crossed swords and cannon, and the shaft is topped with a marble eagle.

The north face lists Lyon’s birthday (July 14, 1818) as well as his death during the battle of Wilson’s Creek (Missouri) on August 10, 1861.

The west face is inscribed with the Capture of Camp Jackson on May 10, 1861, the battle of Booneville on June 16, and the battle of Dug Springs on August 1.

The south face lists seven battles during the Mexican-American War in which Lyon fought.

In the early stages of the war, Lyon captured arms as well as a group pro-Confederacy militia members who had gathered in St. Louis at “Camp Jackson,” named after Missouri’s secessionist governor.

Lyon’s body was hidden after the battle and his remains laid in state in St. Louis, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, New York and Hartford before he was buried in  Eastford. The 1874 book The American Historical Record describes the erection of the Eastford monument.

The Lyon family plot also features a small cannon near the front, and two cannons have been buried at the front corners of the retaining wall surrounding the plot.

The cemetery also includes the graves of numerous other Civil War veterans, including several members of the Lyon family.