Sunday, July 28, 2013

Civil War Monument: Soldiers' Monument - Kensington in Berlin, CT

Interesting Places I've Photographed
First Civil War Monument in the United States
Kensington in Berlin, CT

Topic: Civil War Monuments
Soldiers' Monument
GPS: N41° 37.371; W072° 46.976

Quick Description: 

The Soldiers Monument is located at 312 Percival Avenue in the Kensington section of Berlin, CT

Long Description:

The Kensington Soldiers Monument is a 20' obelisk fabricated from brownstone from the Portland, CT quarries. The monument was designed by Nelson Augustus Moore, funded by popular subscription, and dedicated on July 28, 1863. It is owned by the Kensington Congregational Church and is the first Civil War monument to be erected in the United States.

The monument was conceived by Reverend Charles B. Hilliard, minister of the adjacent Kensington Congregational Church in 1863. The obelisk is inscribed with the dedication on the front (northeast) face and the names and place and date of death of soldiers on the other three sides. A bronze medal of honor plaque rests at the foot of the monument. A 31' high ornate cast iron fence surrounds the obelisk. A Civil War cannon flanked by pyramids of cemented cannon balls was placed outside the monument in 1913.


First Civil War Monument in the Nation
A bronze plaque attached to the cast iron fence in front of the monument is inscribed:


In 1861 as the Civil War escalated, a decision was made to provide
a monument to honor soldiers from the Kensington area. The
effort was led by The Reverend Elias Hillard, Nelson A. Moore,
Selectman George Cowles and church members. It was designed
by Mr. Moore and dedicated on July 28, 1863. This monument
was the first in the Nation to honor Civil War soldiers. There were
15 local area men who served including Elijah H. Bacon who was
awarded the Medal of Honor.

This plaque was donated by the Town of Berlin under the auspices of
the Berlin Veterans Commission

On the front face of base, raised capital letters is the inscription:


SOLDIERS
On the face of the shaft is the dedication:


ERECTED TO COMMEMORATE THE DEATH
OF THOSE WHO PERISHED IN SUPPRESSING
THE SOUTHERN REBELLION.

"HOW SLEEP THE BRAVE WHO SINK TO REST
BY ALL THEIR COUNTRY'S WISHES BLEST."
1863.

and higher up the shaft is the raised seal of the State of Connecticut.
On the southeast face, the shaft is inscribed:


GEORGE W. HORTON
N.O. LA. OCT. 6, 1862.

HENRY F. ALLEN
POCOTALIGO, OCT. 22, 1862.

BIRDSEY J. BECKLEY
FREDERICKSBURG, DEC. 13, 1862

and the base is inscribed:


CAPT. FRANK A. COLE
WASHINGTON D.C. OCT. 4, 1864.
AGED 22.

On the southwest face, the shaft is inscribed:


DANFORD J. DAVIS
MORTON'S FORD, JAN. 1, 1864

CHARLES H. STANLEY
COLD HARBOR, JUNE 1, 1864

JAMES W. BELDEN
CHARLESTON S.C. OCT. 1, 1864

ROSWELL ROOT
NEW HAVEN, MAY 5, 1865

WM. W. WARNER
CHARLESTON S.C. NOV. 5, 1864

and the base is inscribed:


JOHN E. WARNER
ANNAPOLIS MD. DEC. 23, 1864

RICHARD RINGWOOD
ANDERSONVILLE GA.

NELSON M. RITCHIE
CO. G. 16. C. V.

On the northwest face, the shaft is inscribed:


JAMES L. BAILEY
CEDAR MOUNTAIN, AUG. 3, 1862

LEVERETT H. GLADDING
N.O. LA. AUG. 12, 1862

JOHN L. KENT
ANTIETAM, SEPT. 17, 1862

and the base is inscribed:


JAMES RINGWOOD


The medal of honor plaque at the base is for Elijah W. Bacon who was killed in the Battle of the Wilderness and buried in Maple Cemetery in Berlin, CT. The plaque is inscribed: 


ELIJAH W. BACON
MEDAL OF HONOR
CORP. COF. 14 CONN INF
CIVIL WAR
MAY 6, 1864



A second bronze plaque is inscribed:


THIS PLAQUE PRESENTED TO
THE TOWN OF BERLIN
IN COMMEMORATION OF THE
100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE
CIVIL WAR
1861-1865
BY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF BERLIN
MAY 30, 1961

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