Soldiers’ Monument, Mystic

Mystic’s Civil War Veterans are honored with an 1883 monument on a downtown traffic island.

The monument, featuring an infantry soldier standing atop a granite base, sits near the intersections of East Main Street and Broadway Avenue. A dedication on its front (northwest) face reads, “Dedicated to the brave sons of Mystic who offered their lives to their country in the war of the rebellion, 1861-1865.”

Connecticut and United States seals are also inscribed into the front face, which also features a wreath and lists the Battle of Antietam (near Sharpsburg, Md).

The northwest face lists the battle of Port Hudson, La., while the northeast face lists the battle of Gettysburg and the southeast face lists the battle of Drury’s Bluff, (Va.). Other than ornamental wreathes near the top of the pedestal, the monument is relatively subdued.

Mystic’s monument is also known for a couple of accidents at its 1883 dedication. Several veterans were burned and bruised as they marched near a cannon, loaded with blanks, that was fired despite the vets’ proximity. In addition, a crowded grandstand collapsed, but fortunately this incident did not produce any injuries.

The monument was funded by Charles Henry Mallory, who operated a steamship line in New York. Mallory’s father, Charles, was a wealthy Mystic shipbuilder and whaler.

The postcard near the bottom of this post was mailed from Mystic to Staten Island, N.Y., in August of 1942. The Mystic Congregational Church and the home next to it have a similar appearance today.

The granite for the monument, like that used in many Connecticut Civil War monuments, was quarried in nearby Westerly, R.I.

The fence surrounding the monument is scheduled to be replaced as part of a $1.1 million federal stimulus project to upgrade sidewalks, curbs, lighting and pavement in the downtown area.