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| || COMRADES MONUMENT |
Cedar Grove Cemetery
638 Broad Street
New London, CT
Type: Granite two-stage pedestal and figure with Classical Revival details
Height: Approximately 23'
COMRADES MONUMENT, Cedar Grove Cemetery, New London, is significant historically because it is a tangible symbol of respect and honor paid by the New London community to its members who died in the Civil War. It is one of the relatively few monuments in Connecticut raised exclusively by the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic (see also SOLDIERS MONUMENT, East Berlin in Berlin, and MANSFIELD POST CIVIL WAR MONUMENT, Middletown). More often the G.A.R. post was instrumental in planning the memorial and helped raise the money, rather than being solely responsible.
COMRADES MONUMENT, Cedar Grove Cemetery, New London, is significant artistically because it is an example of a Civil War monument which strongly reflects Classical Revival stylistic influence. The shields, wreaths, swags, and especially the embellished consoles evoke the Neo-Classical Revival movement which swept the country in the decades after the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. The unknown stonecarver pursued a strong program of vigorous three-dimensional work in the contemporary fashion.
These features suggest a turn-of-the-century date for the monument, but information on age and provenance has not come to hand. Cedar Grove Cemetery in general keeps excellent records, but does not have a date or other particulars for COMRADES MONUMENT. The New London Public Library, New London County Historical Society, and State Library G.A.R. records also are all without information on this monument.
COMRADES MONUMENT, New London, is just inside and to the left of the main gate to Cedar Grove Cemetery. Its location is the most prominent in the cemetery, across the roadway from the cemetery administration building. The memorial is dedicated to New London men who died in the Civil War.
The monument consists of base, dado, shaft, and surmounting figure, and is dedicated to those who died in the war. It rests on a high plinth. In its two-stage pedestal base, the first stage is a cavetto, but the central area carrying the years recorded below is a vertical surface. In the second stage, the surface is pitched. The east, south, and west faces of the die are blank. The corners of the die are accentuated and extended by angled consoles. A bead molding runs under the dado cornice. There is a polished granite ball on each corner of the cornice, flanking a central pointed shield with raised wreath and star on each face.
Above, at the bottom of the shaft, is a horizontal panel which is recessed in a raised surface and contains six slightly raised circles. At the top of the shaft is a boldly raised swag under a plain cornice, which is surmounted by torus and cavetto moldings with a central shield as transition to the statue base. The three other sides of the die and shaft are similar.
The soldier stands with left foot slightly forward. His rifle butt is perpendicular to the direction of the feet. Hands grasp the barrel, left over right. He wears an overcoat, with cape falling to the forearms, and looks straight ahead under his kepi.
Two rows of conventional individual marble grave markers with segmental tops form a V flanking COMRADES MONUMENT. The north row numbers 24. Each stone has incised caps giving name, unit, date of death, and the legend CIVIL WAR. One is dated 1862; another 1863; most are early 20th century. One is 1940, the decedent being age 94. The southeast row has 17 similar stones. An adjoining row of 16 smaller markers commemorates World War II veterans.
Front (north) face of lower stage of base of pedestal, raised rounded numerals:1861 - 1865
Upper stage of base, raised rounded caps:IN MEMORY
Front face of dado:ERECTED BY
W.W. PERKINS POST (segmental)
West face of upper stage of pedestal base:FRATERNITY
Wells Eggleston Wadleigh, "Cedar Grove Cemetery, 1851-1976," The New London Cemetary Association, II(October 1976)1, p. 83, il.