| New London |
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| || 21ST REGT. CONN. VOL. |
164 Hempstead Street
New London, CT
Dedicated: October 20, 1898
Type: Granite obelisk
Height: Approximately 25'
21ST REGT. CONN. VOL., Williams Park, New London, is one of several Civil War monuments throughout the state erected by the State of Connecticut, rather than a local group, often the Grand Army of the Republic post. Circumstances explaining the state's initiative in this matter are unknown. A cryptic newspaper clipping states that the monument first was intended for Willimantic. How it happened that the monument intended for Willimantic came to New London is not stated.
The Dedication Day program is dated October 20, 1898, not September 5, 1898, the date of erection recorded by lettering on the monument. Explanation for the discrepancy is not known. Dedication Day addresses were delivered by Lorrin A. Cooke, governor of the State of Connecticut, and by General Joseph R. Hawley, a Civil War hero who became publisher of The Hartford Courant and United States senator, and who was a frequent speaker at Civil War monument dedications.
New London joined several other of Connecticut's larger cities in having more than one Civil War monument. Others in the group include Bridgeport, Hartford, Middletown, New Haven, and Winsted in Winchester.
21ST REGT. CONN. VOL., Williams Park, New London, is a straightforward obelisk of the type that could be produced by a stone quarry without the services of a sculptor or designer. The polished surfaces and raised and incised lettering show good workmanship. Because of the polished die and alternating bands of smooth and quarry-faced stone in the obelisk, which are similar to features of SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT, State Street, New London, conjecture arises as to whether both were products of the same yard. Smith Granite Company of Westerly, Rhode Island, supplied the State Street monument and is a candidate for the source of 21ST REGT. CONN. VOL.
21ST REGT. CONN. VOL., Williams Park, New London, is an obelisk supported by base and polished dado, all in gray granite. Located in the northeast corner of Williams Park, the obelisk is a memorial to the 21st Regiment Connecticut Volunteers. The three-tier base has a quarry-finished first riser. The smoothed and polished second and third risers carry the raised lettering recorded below. The front (north) face of the die is incised with the legend of the dedication. Crossed rifles are at an intermediate stage above the die.
Above the crossed rifles the base of the obelisk flares out. Alternating bands of smooth and quarry-finished stone rise from the base to the pyramidal top of the monument. The Seal of Connecticut occupies the first plain band on the north face, with two battle names, recorded below, in bands above. There are two battle names in corresponding positions on each of the other three faces of the obelisk. All are polished raised capital letters.
There are half a dozen places on the monument where small pieces of granite have chipped off. It is unusual for granite to do so; why it has happened in this instance is not clear. Other adverse effects on the monument are the shrubbery close to it on three sides and a tree that touches it from the east.
North (front) face of lower riser of base, raised polished caps:21ST REGT. CONN. VOL.
North face of top riser of base, raised polished caps:1862-1865
North face of die, incised caps:ERECTED SEPT. 5, 1898
STATE OF CONNECTICUT IN
HONOR OF HER
North face of obelisk, raised polished caps:DREWRY'S BLUFF / PETERSBURG
West:FORT HARRISON / RICHMOND
South:FAIR OAKS / SUFFOLK
East: FREDERICKSBURG / COLD HARBOR
Dedication Program, October 20, 1898, "Monuments" folder. History and Genealogy Room, New London Public Library.
New London Day, July 6, 1931.
Unidentified clipping, "Monuments" folder. History and Genealogy Room, New London Public Library.