26th Regiment Volunteer Infantry Monument, Norwich

26th Regiment Monument, NorwichA tall obelisk in the middle of a small Norwich park honors the members of the 26th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, who served in the Civil War in late 1862 and mid-1863.

The monument, dedicated in 1902 in Little Plain Park (between Broadway and Union Street), is a obelisk divided into several sections by ornamental details. A dedication on the monument’s south face reads “To the memory of the 26th Regiment Conn. Volunteer Infantry.”

Just above the dedication, the south face also bears the name “Port Hudson” and a pair of crossed rifles with a wreath, symbolizing the regiment’s service in the infantry. A cross-like symbol appearing on all four sides of the monument is likely a regimental or a corps emblem.

The north face bears some statistics about the unit, listing its original enrollment of 825 members and a breakdown of its 278 casualties: 52 killed in action, 142 wounded and 84 died in service (mostly likely from disease).

26th Regiment Monument, NorwichA regiment comprised primarily of Norwich residents, the 26th’s major engagement was the siege of Port Hudson, La., between May 21 and July 9, 1863. The capture of Port Hudson, together with the capture of Vicksburg, Miss., a few days earlier, gave Union forces effective control of the Mississippi River and provided an important turning point in the Civil War.  

The 26th was organized in Norwich on Nov. 10, 1862, and arrived in New Orleans on Dec. 16. The unit first served at Camp Parapet, a former Confederate fort north of New Orleans that had been captured by Union forces. The unit was shifted to the siege of Port Hudson on May 24, and participated in two ill-fated assaults (on May 27 and June 14) that produced no military benefit for the Union, but did create a large number of casualties. 

When word reached Port Hudson on July 9 that Vicksburg had surrendered to Union forces on July 4, the Confederate leaders at Port Hudson similarly surrendered. 

 

 

26th Regiment Monument, Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut

Wikipedia – Siege of Port Hudson

 

 


Andersonville Memorial, Norwich

Andersonville Memorial, NorwichA large Civil War cannon is featured in a section of Norwich’s Yantic Cemetery is dedicated to veterans including nine residents who died as prisoners of war in the Confederate prison at Andersonville, Ga. 

The nine Norwich veterans who died in the prison were reinterred in Yantic Cemetery on February 1, 1866 after a day of ceremonies that included a parade. The nine graves are arranged in a circular pattern, and several other veterans of the Civil War and later conflicts were added to the area in later years.  

A marker near the cannon  explains that 15 Norwich residents died in Andersonville. Norwich, the first northern city to retrieve its Andersonville dead, sent representatives to the site after the war. Only the 10 who could be identified were returned to their native city. Nine were reburied in Yantic Cemetery, and one was reburied in his family’s plot in the city’s Center Cemetery. 

Andersonville Memorial, NorwichThe cannon (a 4.2 inch, 30-pounder Parrott Rifle manufactured in 1862) has been painted several times over the years, but recently layers of paint were scraped away on the muzzle and barrel to reveal markings by its manufacturer.

Camp Sumter, the Confederate name for the prison constructed in Andersonville, Ga., opened in February 1864 to house Union prisoners of war. The site was enlarged in June of that year, and by August, more than 33,000 prisoners were being confined in a 26.5 acre site largely without shelter or sanitary facilities. Large numbers of prisoners were moved from Andersonville in late 1864 during Sherman’s raids on Georgia, and the population eventually settled down to an average of about 5,000. 

Andersonville Memorial, NorwichBy the end of the war, nearly 13,000 Union soldiers had died from disease, malnutrition and exposure to the elements. 

The site of Camp Sumter has been restored and is maintained by the National Park Service. The site also features the National Prisoner of War Museum and an active National Cemetery.

An “Andersonville Boy” statue honoring Connecticut residents who died in captivity was erected in 1907 on the former prison site. A contingent of 103 prison survivors traveled to Georgia for the dedication ceremonies. A copy of the statue stands on the grounds of the state capitol complex. 

 

Andersonville Memorial, Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andersonville Memorial, Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut

Andersonville National Historic Site (National Park Service)

 


War Memorials, Norwich

War Memorials, NorwichA small triangular park just north of the Soldiers’ Monument in Norwich features monuments to the major wars of the 20th Century as well as to an early American who helped settle the design of the U.S. Flag. 

The area between Broadway and Washington Street, near the Chelsea Parade park, features a granite and bronze monument to the first World War, as well as granite monuments honoring those lost in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, as well as the Vietnam POWs/MIAs. 

The south end of the park, along William Street, features a small granite marker bearing a dedication to those who were lost in “all wars, actions and conflicts.” The marker contains a small eternal flame enclosed in glass. 

Both faces of the World War monument feature large bronze plaques topped by eagles and the U.S. star emblem, and bear the dedication “to the men and women of Norwich who served their country in the War War.” The years 1917 and 1918 appear within wreaths. Both sides feature nine columns of local residents who served in the conflict, with stars indicating the names of residents who were killed. 

War Memorials, NorwichNorth of the World War monument is a granite monument honoring those lost in the Second World War on the east face (toward Broadway) and the Korean war on the west face (toward Washington Street). The World War II dedication reads: “To commemorate those who served in World War II and to those who paid the supreme sacrifice in order that our nation may continue to the glory of God and to continue in his principles amongst men this monument is dedicated and in solemn memory of those who paid the supreme sacrifice in Vietnam 1964 1975.” (The other side expresses a similar dedication to those who served in Korea). 

The prisoners of war and missing in action from Vietnam are honored in a dark granite monument north of the World War II monument that  bears a polished POW/MIA logo. 

World War Monument, NorwichThe POW/MIA logo is repeated in the Vietnam War monument, which stands to the immediate north. That monument bears the dedication “In honor of the brave servicemen who gave their lives in Vietnam” above a dozen names and dates of death. 

A nearby Freedom Tree is dedicated to a local service member captured or reported missing in 1973. 

A small rock north of these monuments bears a plaque dedicated to Capt. Samuel Chester Reid (1783-1861), a Norwich native who commanded a privateer ship during the War of 1812 and who helped design the 1818 version of the United States flag. The 1818 flag established the convention of adding a star to represent each state (the nation had 20 states at the time, but the flag had 15 stars and 15 stripes) while retaining 13 stripes to represent the original colonies. 

 

War Memorials, Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World War II Monument, Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POW/MIA Monument, Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vietnam Memorial, Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reid Memorial, Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reid Memorial, Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World War Monument, Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Soldiers’ Monument, Norwich

The Soldiers' Monument, NorwichA large 1875 monument to soldiers killed in the Civil War stands near the northern end of the Chelsea Parade green in Norwich. 

The monument features a caped infantryman standing with two hands wrapped around the barrel of his rifle. Unlike most monuments, in which the figure is gazing straight ahead, the Norwich soldier is looking downward and to his left, making him appear a bit more reflective or contemplative than the average monument figure.

The soldier, unusually large among the state’s Civil War monuments at 12 feet, stands atop an eight-sided column with ornate decorative elements near the top. The front (south) face bears the Connecticut and U.S. shields just below the soldier’s feet. 

The Soldiers' Monument, NorwichFour of the eight columns bear an estimated 160 names and regimental affiliations of local residents who were killed in the war. Unlike many Connecticut Civil War monuments, the Norwich monument does not feature a list of battles in which local residents participated. 

The monument is surrounded by a tasteful iron fence that features four matching granite corners bearing the U.S. shield on the outer faces. At the time of our visit, earlier in March, seven wreaths lay at the base of the monument’s fence. 

Near the south side of the monument’s base, a smaller granite marker indicates a time capsule was buried in 1959 to mark the city’s 300th anniversary. The time capsule is scheduled to be opened 50 years from now in 2059, which in all likelihood means someone besides us will have to report what they find.   

The Soldiers' Monument, NorwichThe vintage postcard image posted below bears a 1908 postmark. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Soldiers' Monument, Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Soldiers' Monument, Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Soldiers' Monument, Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Soldiers' Monument, Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:

Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut


Uncas Monument, Norwich

Uncas MonumentA monument to Uncas, the first Sachem of the Mohegan tribe, marks his burial in what remains of a Native American cemetery in Norwich. 

Uncas, who died in 1683, led the Mohegans after they split from the Pequot tribe over issues including strategies for responding to the arrival of English settlers and tribal succession planning. Uncas favored collaborating with the settlers, while a faction of Pequots led by Sachem (head chief) Sassacus preferring fighting over land and control of the local fur trade. 

The Uncas monument sits in a small burial ground on Sachem Street. The square base of the monument was dedicated in 1833, with President Andrew Jackson participating in the dedication ceremonies. The granite column was dedicated nine years later in 1842, after organizers had resolved several problems with the monument, including quarrying granite that met their specifications and reaching a consensus on the proper spelling of “Uncas.”

Uncas MonumentThe dedication ceremony was marked by several speeches praising Uncas for his cooperation with the settlers, but for some reason, no Mohegans were invited to participate. Organizers apparently assumed the tribe was extinct, and didn’t know that survivors were living in nearby Montville. 

“Buffalo Bill” Cody laid a wreath at the Uncas monument in 1907 when his Wild West stunt show visited Norwich. 

The Mohegan’s burial ground may have covered as many as 16 acres over what is now a well-developed residential neighborhood. Today, a sixteenth of an acre remains. 

In 2008, the Mohegans dedicated a memorial to ancestors whose graves were lost to redevelopment of the burial ground on the site of a former Masonic lodge near the Uncas monument. 

 


Uncas Monument marker
Uncas Monument, 1906 postcard
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