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Preston honors service in the Civil War and World War I with a large monument on Jewett City Road (Route 164).

The 1898 Soldiers’ Monument, which also marks the birthplace of American Revolution general Samuel Mott, stands in front of the former town library building just south of the intersection of Route 164 with Shetucket Turnpike (Route 165).

A dedication on the monument’s front (northwest) side reads, “In grateful memory of those citizens of the Town of Preston who served their country in arms in the war for the preservation of the Union.”

The northwest face also features a raised United States shield flanked by the years when the Civil War was fought.

The southwest side bears an inscription reading, “From this town, obedient to the call of patriotism and humanity, went forth one hundred and fifty men.”

An inscription on the northeast side reads, “Erected in token of filial gratitude and affection for their early home and to commemorate the patriotic devotion of friends & neighbors of their youth by Charles and Lucius Brown, 1898.”

The southeast side has an inscription reading, “This monument marks the dwelling place of General Samuel Mott, eminent citizen, upright magistrate, soldier of the Revolution, friend of Washington.”

Mott was an engineer who served at Fort Ticonderoga in New York as well as forts in New London and Groton.

On the monument’s northwest face, a 1921 plaque lists about 50 residents who served in World War I.

The land on which the monument and the former library, now the home of the Preston Historical Society, was donated by the Brown family along with the monument. The monument and the library were both dedicated on November 25, 1898.

The site also features two mortar cannons as well as pyramids of cannonballs.

The monument, supplied by the Smith Granite Company of Westerly, Rhode Island, was restored in 2000.

A spring-fed horse fountain donated in 1918 by retired inventor DeLambre Bates stands a short walk southwest of the Soldiers’ Monument site.


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