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Stonington [Evergreen] Cemetery
345 North Main Street
Dedicated: August 26, 1923
Type: Rounded granite block with lettering
Height: 5', 9"
WOMAN'S RELIEF CORPS MONUMENT, Stonington, is significant historically because of its association with the Woman's Relief Corps, which functioned as an auxiliary or branch of the Grand Army of the Republic. The J.F. Trumbull Post, No. 34, Woman's Relief Corps, Stonington, was founded June 27, 1888, disbanding in 1932. At its peak it numbered 123 members. In addition to the Civil War monument in the cemetery, the group also raised the World War I monument in front of Stonington Town Hall.
At the dedication ceremony in the cemetery on Sunday, August 26, 1923, two of the four surviving members of the J.F. Trumbull Post, No. 82, G.A.R., were present. The Stonington Troop of Girl Scouts sang a verse of "My Country 'Tis of Thee." A principal speaker was Dr. Henry M. Thompson of the First Baptist Church, adjutant of the Trumbull Post. Dr. James Weeks told of the hardships encountered by the soldiers of the Civil War, a theme familiar to such occasions for more than half a century, and of the enemies in the North and close to home, a less familiar topic. It is to be noted that the activity and interest for raising WOMAN'S RELIEF CORPS MONUMENT, a Civil War memorial, occurred after World War I.
The cost of the monument was $900.
WOMAN'S RELIEF CORPS MONUMENT, Stonington, is significant artistically because it is an example of a Civil War monument reflecting the rustic mode popular in the first quarter of the 20th century. Rough-finished stone and wood were introduced for Adirondack camps and the like, and became popular in bungalows and other urban building types. The extreme roughness of the stone in this monument is a reflection of the popularity of the rustic mode of its times. The design, which is simple, unostentatious, and effective, is vernacular but nonetheless has a specificity of its own.
WOMAN'S RELIEF CORPS MONUMENT, Stonington, is located in Evergreen Cemetery's veterans' plot, about 30' x 45' in size, toward the back (east end) of Cemetery. The 22.7-acre burial ground, generally known as Stonington Cemetery, was incorporated ca.1841. The monument is in the center of the plot, in front of a flagpole, while four individual grave markers define the corners of the plot. All Stonington men who served in the Civil War are memorialized by the granite block.
WOMAN'S RELIEF CORPS MONUMENT consists of a low plinth and a rough-finished block of gray granite, rounded at the top. A large central panel on the front of the slab, also rounded at the top, is smooth-finished, to accept the incised lettering recorded below. Due to the fact that the lettering is incised in a polished granite surface, it is difficult to read. The G.A.R. badge is raised in a recessed circle over the lettering.
Front (north) face, incised caps:ERECTED BY THE W.R.C.
TO THE BRAVE SONS OF
WHO FOUGHT IN THE WAR OF
Each of the four segmental-topped individual gravestones at the corners of the plot is lettered with name of the soldier, his unit, date of death, and place of death, sometimes KIA. Fredericksburg and Port Hudson are among the places of death.
The [Stonington] Mirror, August 29, 1923; July 1, 1932.
Mary M. Thatcher, Librarian, Stonington Historical Society, letter, June 6, 1994.