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Worcester in Worcester County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

To The Memory Of Her Sons Who Died For The Unity Of The Republic

 
 
To The Memory Of Her Sons Who Died For The Unity Of The Republic Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), June 20, 2020
1. To The Memory Of Her Sons Who Died For The Unity Of The Republic Marker
Inscription.  
April 1865... the Civil War was over. The war had been a life-changing event. It obliterated the normal patterns of life as men were swept into training camps and battle units. Families struggled to survive, businesses tried to cope with the loss of workers. No aspect of life remained untouched as Worcester County men answered the call in defense of the Union.

Of the 4,227 men who enlisted from Worcester, 3,903 returned safety, 324 died. "This glorious army of martyrs must never been forgotten," proclaimed Mayor James B. Blake in his 1866 inaugural address. "I shall ask you to inaugurate such measures as whall enable us as the recipients of the voluntary contributions of our people to erect to their memory a monument in some of our public squares, which shall transmit to future generations on tablets of stone, the names of all those men so brave who have so heroically given themselves to their country.

A Soldiers' Monument Committee formed under the leadership of Mayor Blake quickly concluded that "no portion of the expense of a memorial should be paid from the city treasury," adding "the entire cost should be fully
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met by the voluntary contributions of our whole people..."

On February 22, 1866, the community campaign began and within a month "Our citizens have...already given about ten thousand dollars." Little progress was made until late 1867-1868 when designs were solicited. At a Dec. 4, 1868 meeting the committee "finally agreed unanimously that an arch, designed by Mr. Richardson, a New York architect, was the most beautiful and fitting." Enormous, expensive, and proposed to dominate the center of the Common, the arch was eventually rejected by popular vote, three to one.

As soon as the arch was rejected, suggestions for an appropriate memorial continued to flood the newspapers... a library building with a memorial room for war-related treasures...a fountain...a "chime of bells on a new and suitable City Hall."

The project remained dormant for two years until a new committee was formed under the leadership of George Crompton, a Worcester industrialist. In July of 1871 the committee learned that Randolph Rogers, the well known sculptor, was in New England to supervise the installation of a soldiers' memorial in Providence. The committee felt "it would be an easy matter to secure his attendance at a meeting of the committee to listen to his valuable suggestions on a matter he has studied so faithfully." By September 1871 Rogers began modeling for the committee.
To The Memory Of Her Sons Who Died For The Unity Of The Republic Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), June 20, 2020
2. To The Memory Of Her Sons Who Died For The Unity Of The Republic Marker
In mid-November the committee was "so much pleased with the design" that they had unanimously adopted it, inviting the public to see the model.

"Many towns and cities have already set the example...of erecting durable monuments, not necessarily elaborate or costly...Our city should not discourage by indifference so deserving and pious a work."
Daily Spy, January 2, 1866

 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureArts, Letters, MusicWar, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is January 2, 1866.
 
Location. 42° 15.726′ N, 71° 47.998′ W. Marker is in Worcester, Massachusetts, in Worcester County. Marker is on Church Street just south of Front Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 99 Front St, Worcester MA 01608, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. No City Has A Worthier Memorial Of Her Honored Sons (here, next to this marker); Worcester Civil War Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Northeast Corner of the Worcester Cemetery (a few steps from this marker); The Official State Monument For Veterans Of The Southwest Asian War (within shouting distance of this marker); Southeast Corner of the Worcester Cemetery (within
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shouting distance of this marker); Worcester World War II Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); World War II Time Capsule (within shouting distance of this marker); The Home Front (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Worcester.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 23, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 172 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 23, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Jul. 12, 2024