Monday, February 3, 2014

Public Memorials: Soldiers' Monument 1874

Name: Soldiers' Monument
Date: July 15, 1874
Location: Worcester Common, Worcester, Massachusetts
Artist: Randolph Rogers
Why: The sculpture was funded by the City of Worcester
Religious Significance: None
Smithsonian Listing

From Wikipedia:
Soldiers' Monument (Worcester, Massachusetts) is an American Civil War monument on Worcester Common in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Designed by sculptor Randolph Rogers, it consists of a tapering granite Corinthian column crowned by a bronze goddess of Victory,

a three-tiered granite pedestal adorned with bronze plaques, buttresses surmounted by four bronze statues representing branches of the military – Infantry, Navy, Artillery, Cavalry,
with the whole resting upon a rough granite base flanked by four buried cannons barrels.
The pedestal's top tier is adorned with four relief plaques: the City of Worcester seal,
the Massachusetts state seal, [Note: The Latin phrase "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem" is the official motto of the State of Massachusetts and is loosely translated as, "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty."]

the United States seal,
and a pair of crossed swords encircled by a laurel wreath.
The middle tier features relief busts of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln
and Massachusetts Governor John A. Andrew,
a battle scene of a dying soldier supported by a comrade,
and the monument's dedication plaque.
The bottom tier features four inscription plaques listing the names of the 398 Worcester soldiers who died in the war. [Note: The names of many of the soldiers has become unreadable over time.]

In 1871, the Soldiers' Monument Committee commissioned Rogers to design the memorial. The City of Worcester appropriated $35,000, and an addition $15,000 was raised by subscription. The monument was dedicated on July 15, 1874.

When built, the monument was approximately 66 ft 0 in (20.12 m) tall, and the base was approximately 24 ft 0 in (7.32 m) square. The ground level was raised in 1969, burying the rough-granite base, so the monument is now approximately 4 ft 0 in (1.22 m) shorter.
Soldiers' Monument, circa 1910
For a history of the Soldiers' Monument written at the time, with a full listing of all the soldiers the monument was dedicated and a printing of all the speeches given on the day the monument was unveiled, see this link: Dedication of the Soldiers' Monument at Worcester, Massachusetts, July 15, A.D. 1874 (1875)

Photos (c) 2014 Steve Ahlquist

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