| New Hartford |
view large image
| || SOLDIERS' MONUMENT |
Town Hill Road
New Hartford, CT
Dedicated: July 4, 1893
Type: Granite pedestal and figure with bronze plaques
Designer, fabricator, and supplier: Temple Brothers
SOLDIERS' MONUMENT, New Hartford, is significant historically because it is a symbol of the honor and respect paid by the community to its sons who served in the Civil War. The sentiment was expressed in the following words in the announcement of a fund-raising event:
It is now nearly twenty-six years since the war ended and we think it time that a Soldiers' Monument should be erected in New Hartford. Most of the cities and towns about us have already erected monuments for this purpose, and we believe New Hartford is equally loyal to the memory of her fallen sons. (Undated  leaflet of Grand Army of the Republic and Veterans Association)
The monument was consistently referred to as the Soldiers' Monument despite the specific wording of SOLDIERS AND SAILORS in the bronze tablet.
Dedication Day on July 4, 1893, was an important occasion, arranged by a committee of the Edwin R. Lee Post, No. 78, Grand Army of the Republic, and the New Hartford Veterans Association. Special trains, one with members of four G.A.R. posts, brought visitors to augment the crowd to a number of 2,500/3,000. Homes and places of business were decorated with bunting and flags. The parade was led by a visiting drum corps and a coronet band. A luncheon collation was served to 1,200.
The Woman's Relief Corps was prominent in the day's program. The Edwin R. Lee Woman's Relief Corps, No. 4, auxiliary of the G.A.R. Post, managed the collation. The department president of the Woman's Relief Corps from Rockville was in attendance, as was the senior vice president from Norwich. The Woman's Relief Corps was mentioned as "the largest body of patriotic women in the world."
The principal orator of the day, for 40 minutes ("interspersed with tumultuous applause"), was Colonel Augustus H. Fenn. He spoke with fervor of the honor and respect due to veterans, invoking historical reference to Nathan Hale and scholarly reference to Henry IV ("Stay yourself good Crilion...."). As reported by the Winsted Herald, Friday, July 7, 1893, he spoke "today of the dead; they who died for us; who died that the nation might live, unsevered, untorn, untarnished, unbroken, forever." He named with respect several generals, quoted Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and commented favorably on progress of current rapprochement between the North and the South. "The verdict of Appomattox [was] that the bonds of the slaves should be broken: that the oppressed should go free." These enlightened references, seldom heard in orations soon after the war, reflected the passage of three decades. Fenn did, however, refer to the war as "The Rebellion."
SOLDIERS' MONUMENT, New Hartford, is significant artistically because it is a Civil War monument executed by a firm whose work is rare in Connecticut, Temple Brothers of Rutland, Vermont. This is the only identified work of Temple Brothers in the state. Nothing is known of the firm, or why it was chosen for the New Hartford commission.
The stonecutting of the monument is relatively simple. There are no elaborate moldings, and the lettering is handled by bronze castings rather than by letters raised or incised in the stone. Such features are consistent with the cost of $2,300, which was modest for a 24'-high monument. On the other hand, the four raised and polished symbols on the faces of the shaft are large, well-executed, and effective.
The distinction made by the newspaper article between the pose of this soldier and the usual parade rest, see below, is interesting, but not clear. To today's eye, the soldier's stance is within the range of the customary positions for Civil War figures.
SOLDIERS' MONUMENT, New Hartford, is sited on a knoll above the highway at the southwest front corner of the 7.7-acre Village Cemetery, one block south of SR 44. It is dedicated to all New Hartford men who served in the Civil War. The monument consists of base, die covered by bronze plaques, shaft, and soldier's figure, executed in Barre granite which is light gray with black specks.
Originally, the plot on which the monument stands was set off from the cemetery proper by a wrought-iron fence, and a second wrought-iron fence surrounded the monument.
The base of the pedestal, which rests on a two-stage plinth, is connected to the die by a scotia molding. The die is covered by bronze tablets carrying lettering as recorded below. At the top of the die the center of each face is extended to connect with the base of the short shaft above. Each face of the shaft is embellished with a raised and polished motif; badge of the G.A.R., medal, star, flag, and eagle on the front; crossed canon of the artillery on the east; crossed sabres of the cavalry on the north; and anchor symbolizing the navy on the west. The cornice of the shaft projects, over a coved surface.
The soldier is cut from stone with a somewhat rougher surface than the lower part of the monument. He stands with his left foot forward, the butt of his musket parallel with the direction of the feet and projecting over the edge of the base. Left hand is over right on the barrel. He is wearing overcoat with waist belt, from which are suspended cartridge box and bayonet. His cape rests on the left forearm and is thrown back over the right shoulder. He wears moustache and small goatee under kepi while looking straight ahead. A contemporary newspaper account made the point that this is not the usual parade rest position, saying the soldier is "standing in an alert position with his musket in front, the butt resting on the ground,...not at 'parade rest.'" (The New Hartford Tribune, July 7, 1893, 2:2)
Front (south) face of die, 42" x 44" bronze plaque, raised caps:ERECTED
TO THE MEMORY OF
SOLDIERS AND SAILORS,
WHO SERVED IN THE WAR
OF THE REBELLION
East:(names of 6 units and 38 men who served in them [largest number in 13th Connecticut Infantry]; also residents of New Hartford who enlisted from other states; 62 names in all)
North:(similar listings, many from 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery; about 50 names in all)
West:(similar listings, many from 2nd Connecticut Infantry; one is Principal Musician Benjamin G. Loomis)
In all, 224 names of soldiers and sailors who served in the war from New Hartford are listed.
Ephemera of Edwin R. Lee Post, No. 78, G.A.R. and New Hartford Veterans Association. New Hartford Historical Society.
The New Hartford Tribune, June 30, 1893, 2:3 il. and July 7, 1893, 2:3 il.
Winsted Herald, July 7, 1893.