| ANDERSONVILLE MEMORIAL GUN |
68 Lafayette Street
Veterans' plot dedicated: February 1, 1866
Erected: Date unknown
Type: 30-pounder Parrot rifle on carriage
ANDERSONVILLE MEMORIAL GUN, Yantic Cemetery, Norwich, and the group of graves which are the reason for its presence are significant historically because they mark the first action of a Northern community to retrieve and reclaim its Andersonville dead following the Civil War. The Andersonville (Georgia) Prison was ill-famed for its death rate (see BROOKS MONUMENT, Haddam). Norwich was the first Northern city to retrieve bodies, bringing nine men back to Norwich early in 1866. A public service for their re-interment at Yantic Cemetery was held February 1, 1866. Businesses were closed in support of the program of suitable ceremonies, which included a parade. An eight-course dinner followed at the Chelsea Hotel.
The action established the veterans plot at Yantic Cemetery. Further interments followed over the years, to as late as 1925. The site was the first choice for THE SOLDIERS' MONUMENT, Washington Street.
Whether the Parrot rifle was part of the original installation or was added at a later date is not clear.
ANDESONVILLE BOY , Hartford, also memorializes Connecticut men who suffered in the prison.
ANDERSONVILLE MEMORIAL GUN, Yantic Cemetery, Norwich, is standard ordnance. The surrounding stones are typical examples of simple monuments for veterans' graves. The arrangement of the gravestones in curved lines is a visually important exception to the otherwise linear layout of the cemetery.
ANDERSONVILLE MEMORIAL GUN, Yantic Cemetery, Norwich, so called because it is the centerpiece of graves of Norwich men who died at Andersonville, is located in the eastern end of Yantic Cemetery. It is a 30-pounder Parrot rifle mounted on an iron carriage. The cemetery is 26.5 acres of flat land, owned and maintained by the City of Norwich.
The gun, painted gray, faces west on a metal carriage. The bore is 4 1/4" in diameter at the muzzle. The soldiers' gravestones are placed around it in concentric circles, which are the only curved lines in the cemetery's linear layout. Roadways and other monuments are in a strict grid pattern. In the environment of flat land and straight landscaping lines, the curved layout of the veterans graves is striking.
There are 36 stones in the inner circle, facing outward with their backs to the gun. They are standard marble headstones with segmental tops. The second row consists of less than 36 stones, with nine set apart to the east and 10 to the west. The third row, in a straight line, includes seven marking interments as late as 1925, and a separate line of nine Spanish-American War veterans.
Lettering incised in muzzle end of gun is mostly indecipherable, but includes something approximating:869 NP
The gravestones are incised with caps giving name, unit, and date of death, but usually not place of death.
Norwich Commemorative Bulletin, September 2, 1958.