Soldiers’ Memorial, Westville

A memorial gateway in the Westville section of New Haven honors local residents who served in the Civil War.

The 1915 monument, at the entrance to the city’s Beecher Park, stands at the corner of Whalley Avenue and Philip Street.  Two plaques on the front (northeast) face of the monument bear a dedication reading, “Erected by the Westville Soldiers Memorial Association to commemorate those who enlisted from this place in the War of 1861-1865.”

The plaque on the left pillar (as you face the monument) lists 32 names, and the plaque on the right pillar lists 33 names. The left column also bears the seal of the United States, and the right column bears the Connecticut seal.

Benches extend from the monument’s pillars, and bronze letters embedded in the walkway between the columns read, “Soldiers’ Memorial A.D. 1915.”

The monument was constructed from local traprock, most likely from the West Rock formation that stands just west of the park. The gateway was designed by architect Ferdinand Von Beren, who was also responsible for a number of downtown buildings and New Haven schools.

Timothy Ahearn Monument, New Haven

A World War I recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross is honored with a monument in New Haven’s West River Memorial Park.

Timothy Ahearn, an infantry corporal,  was honored for actions on October 27, 1918, near Verdun, France. After the officers and sergeants of his company had become casualties, Cpl. Ahern assumed command and organized the remnants of his unit. He led the men through heavy fighting, and, later that day, rescued a wounded officer while facing machine gun fire.

The monument, dedicated in 1937 as part of the New Deal’s Federal Art Project, depicts Ahern writing a note to regimental commanders describing his actions and requesting replacements.

A dedication on the front (north) face of the monument’s base includes biographical information about Ahearn, and adds the inscription, “He best exemplified the spirit of the enlisted men of the Yankee division.”

The statue, near the intersection of Routes 10 (Ella T. Grasso Blvd.) and 34 (Derby Ave.) was created by sculptor Karl Lang, who was also responsible for the Veterans’ Memorial Flagpole in Darien’s Spring Grove Cemetery.

The east and west sides of the monument’s base include additional information about Cpl. Ahearn’s bravery in combat.

The south side of the base has a bronze plaque describing the monument and listing the committee and the local veterans’ organizations responsible for its construction.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, New Haven

The service of Vietnam veterans from the greater New Haven area is honored with a collection of monuments on New Haven harbor.

The 1988 Vietnam memorial consists of two monuments. The smaller of the two is a polished granite slab with a dedication on its front (north) face reading, “This memorial is dedicated in honor of the men and women who served during the Vietnam War from the surrounding cities and towns: New Haven, East Haven, West Haven, North Haven, Hamden, Orange, [and] Woodbridge.”

The slab is also inscribed with five service emblems as well as the Vietnam service medal.

The memorial also features an 11-foot-high, V-shaped monument inscribed with the names of 55 area residents who were killed in the conflict, as well as the names of three men who were prisoners or reported missing.

The left side of the V-shaped memorial features a bronze depiction of the Vietnam service medal.

The Vietnam memorials were created by sculptors Kenneth Polanski and Frank Pannenborg.

The Vietnam memorial is joined by a polished black granite Korean War monument that features a map of the Korean penisula along with an inscription reading, “In honor of those who served during the Korean War from the greater New Haven area. Forgotten war, forgotten no more. Freedom is not free.”

Next to the Korean War memorial is a granite monument honoring service in the global war on terrorism that lists the names of four area residents from the First Battalion, 102nd Infantry who were killed in 2004 or 2006.

Another nearby granite monument honors recipients of the Purple Heart medal.

The monuments are part of a waterfront park in the Long Wharf section of New Haven, which was named after piers that were removed when Interstate 95 was constructed. The waterfront near the park was used by British troops leaving New Haven after their 1779 invasion of the city.

New Haven Plans to Restore Monument Access

Soldier's and Sailors' Monument, New HavenA short update on the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument at the summit of New Haven’s East Rock Park: the city plans to replace the interior staircase that originally led to an observation deck 110 feet from the monument’s base. According to an article in today’s New Haven Register, the next phase of the monument’s restoration calls for the construction of a new interior stairway and an overhaul of the plaza area surrounding the monument’s base.

The city plans to complete the project by November, and we hope to make the climb as soon as the new stairs are ready.

Once that phase is completed, the city plans to refurbish the plaques and four lower-level statues (which would benefit from a good sprucing-up).

Congratulations and bravo to New Haven and the state of Connecticut for securing the funding for the monument’s restoration. Well done.

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, New Haven

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, New HavenThe 110-foot tall Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument high above New Haven is visible for miles on a clear day.

The monument, at the summit of East Rock Park, was dedicated in 1887 to honor soldiers and sailors who fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War and the Civil War.

The monument features a round granite column rising from a square base with allegorical bronze statues on all four corners, and bas relief sculptures depicting scenes from the highlighted wars.

The monument is topped by an 11-foot tall statue known as the Angel of Peace, which faces downtown New Haven and holds an olive branch in an outstretched left arm. The statue, originally installed in March 1887, was restored in 2006 and returned to the top of the monument.

Four allegorical statues appear on the corners of the monument’s base. The west corner depicts History holding a book, and the south corner symbolizes Patriotism holding a sword. The east corner represents Victory, and the north corner depicts Prosperity.

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, New HavenThe front (southwest) face of the monument honors the Civil War, and lists the battlefields of Gettysburg, Port Hudson (La.) and Fort Fisher (N.C.). A scene on the southwest face depicts Robert E. Lee’s surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House, Va. in April of 1865. In this scene, Lee appears to have a painful headache, which, under the circumstances, is probably understandable.

The southwest face also has a door to the interior of the monument that has been boarded over, probably because the interior staircase to the upper-level viewing area has reportedly fallen into disrepair.

Moving to the right, the southeast face of the monument honors the American Revolution by listing the battlefields of Bunker Hill (outside Boston), Bennington (Vt.) and Saratoga (N.Y.) below a scene depicting the British surrender at Yorktown.

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, New HavenThe southeast face also bears one of two large bronze plaques with 520 names of soldiers and sailors from New Haven who died in the Civil War. The plaques, which were added to the monument in 1894, have ornate decorative borders with raised moldings and ribbons that feature regimental emblems and the names of Civil War battlefields.

The plaque on the northwest face is substantially darker than the plaque on the southeast face, and along with the scenes on this and the northeast face, could use a good cleaning.

The northeast (rear) face of the monument honors the War of 1812 by listing battlefields near Lake Erie, Lake Champlain and New Orleans and a hard-to-discern naval scene. The rear face has a doorway that is either false or has been cemented over.

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, New HavenThe northwest face honors the 1846 Mexican-American War by listing battlefields near Palo Alto (near Brownsville, Texas), Molino Del Rey and Chapultepec. A scene from that war appears above a second plaque listing local Civil War heroes.

According to the Connecticut Historical Society, the monument’s dedication in June of 1887 was attended by Union generals William Tecumseh Sherman and Philip Henry Sheridan. A parade of 20,000 people was watched by a crowd estimated at more than 100,000.

The plaques listed the Civil War dead were added seven years later.

As you can see from the vintage postcards appearing below, the monument’s surroundings have changed over the years. In the first postcard, a small pavilion that stood at the summit appears neat the center of the image. The pavilion is gone, as is the cannon the gentleman appears to be sitting on, but the pavilion’s foundation remains.

Over the years, a small plaza and fence have been added to the monument’s base, probably to discourage vandalism or theft of the bronze plaques.

The vertical postcard with the small trees in the foreground was mailed in 1954 from New Haven to Cleveland.

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, New HavenThe postcard depicting the cliff under the monument was postmarked in 1910, and mailed from New Haven to Dwight, Mass.

The final image in this post is a panorama shot taken from the parking area in front of the monument, looking south toward New Haven harbor, downtown New Haven and the West Haven shoreline.

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, New Haven

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, New Haven

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, New Haven

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, New Haven


Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, New Haven

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, New Haven

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, New Haven

New Haven panorama, from East Rock


Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut

9th Regiment Conn. Volunteers Monument, New Haven

9th Regiment Monument, New HavenA 1903 granite monument dedicated to a Civil War regiment comprised primarily of Irish Americans stands in New Haven’s Bay View Park.

The 9th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers monument is located in a park that served as the unit’s training ground and home for a few months following its formation in 1861. A caped infantryman stands with a rifle atop a short granite pillar.

The front (south) face of the monument bears the Connecticut state seal above the name of the regiment and “1861-1865”. The base of the monument also lists the battle of New Orleans.

A bronze plaque on the east face lists nearly 100 names of unit members who died in service as well as the battle of Baton Rouge. The north face lists nearly 80 names and the battle of Cedar Creek (Va.), and the west face lists nearly 85 names as well as Fishers Hill (Va.)

9th Regiment Monument, New HavenThe vintage postcard below shows the monument has undergone several changes since its 1903 dedication. Originally, the monument’s decorative elements were painted gold. Looking closely at the monument, some traces of the gold paint remain. For instance, look at the period (click to enlarge the images) in “Regt.” and the dash between 1861 and 1865.

In addition, the monument was moved from its 1903 location in 1950. Route 1, which runs near the park, was re-routed to accommodate the construction of Interstate 95. This construction in turn prompted changes to the park and the monument, which originally stood at the east end of the park, closer to the harbor (probably on the site of the aquaculture school).

Finally, the four cannons were removed from their carriages and re-mounted on concrete bases. The cannons are original Civil War 12-pounder Dahlgren guns, which were naval cannons known as “boat howitzers” that could be mounted on carriages and brought ashore for land use.

A new monument honoring the 9th Regiment was dedicated in October 2008 at the Vicksburg National Military Park. More information about the regiment’s history and the new monument is available here.

9th Regiment Monument, New Haven

9th Regiment Monument, New Haven

9th Regiment Monument, New Haven

9th Regiment Monument, New Haven

9th Regiment Monument, New Havenvvvvvvv

9th Regiment Monument, New Haven


Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut

Broadway Civil War Monument, New Haven

Broadway Civil War Monument, New HavenA 32-foot column in a park at the intersections of Elm Street and Broadway in New Haven honors the service of four Connecticut regiments in the Civil War. 

The column, topped by a bronze eagle and flanked by two granite soldiers, was  dedicated on June 16, 1905, to honor three infantry regiments and an artillery regiment. 

A dedication on the front (south) face on the monument reads: “Erected by the joint contributions of the state of Connecticut and the Veteran Associations of 1st Conn. Light Battery and 6th, 7th and 10th Conn. Vols. as a sacred and perpetual memorial to men who suffered and died that the republic might live: 1861-1865.” 

Beneath this dedication, a bronze plaque honors the 10th Conn. Volunteer Infantry, which participated in 51 engagements between Sept. 1861 and Sept. 1865. Among the 1,879 soldiers who enrolled in the regiment, there were 1,011 casualties. The bottom of the plaque bears the inscription “Safe and happy the republic whose sons gladly die in her defense.” 

On the east side of the monument, a figure depicts an infantry soldier reaching into an ammunition bag. On the base beneath his feet, a bronze plaque honors the Seventh Connecticut Volunteers infantry regiment, who participated in battles in South and North Carolina and Georgia, as well as “13 other engagements.” 

Broadway Civil War Monument, New HavenThe west side of the monument features a figure depicting an artilleryman scanning the horizon while holding a ramrod in his left hand. A plaque beneath this figure honors the 1st Conn. Light Battery, which served between Oct. 1861 and June 1865. Major engagements cited on the plaque include the siege of Charleston, and the Richmond and Petersburg campaigns in Virginia.  

A plaque on the south side of the monument commemorates the 6th Conn. Volunteer Infantry, which served between Sept. 1861 and August 1865. The regiment had a total enrollment of 1,608 and suffered 807 casualties during engagements in Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia. 

The vintage postcard below carries a 1909 postmark, and was mailed to Jamaica, New York. The fountain and the reddish street furniture in the foreground have been removed from the park. 

Broadway Civil War Monument, New HavenA booklet commemorating the monument’s dedication ceremonies is available on the Internet Archive. 

The pile of stones in the northwest corner of the park marks the number of military and civilian deaths in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Every month, the number of deaths is painted on a stone that is added to the pile. 

Just north of the  Civil War monument is Christ Church, which was built in 1895. A monument outside the south side of the church is dedicated to George Brinley Morgan, who became pastor of the church in 1878. Rev. Morgan was killed in a motor car accident in 1908, which was likely not yet a common cause of death in that era. 





Broadway Civil War Monument, New Haven












Broadway Civil War Monument, New Haven










Broadway Civil War Monument, New Haven












Broadway Civil War Monument, New Haven










Broadway Civil War Monument, New Haven








Morgan Memorial, Christ Church, New Haven












Morgan Memorial, Christ Church, New Haven











Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of 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

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

-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