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| ||SOLDIERS MONUMENT |
Pine Grove Cemetery
71 Howard Avenue
Dedicated: May 30, 1876
Type: Bronze figure of artilleryman on granite pedestal
Supplier: M.J. Walsh
Sculptor: Galvano Plastice
Foundry: M.J. Power
Overall Height: 14'; height of base: 8'; height of figure: 5', 9"
SOLDIERS MONUMENT, Ansonia, is significant historically because it is tangible evidence of the honor paid by the Ansonia community to her sons who died in the Civil War. Success for the prolonged campaign waged by those in favor of erecting the monument was signalled on January 6, 1876, when the Derby Transcript reported that Walsh had the granite base about completed, at a cost of $1400, and that it was to be surmounted by a bronze statue costing $2500. (Total expense actually came to $3500.) The four 10 1/2" brass cannon to be set around the monument already were on hand.
The dedication day ceremony was "long to be remembered," according to a contemporary newspaper account. Another report said, "...very little occurred that was objectionable, and the general feeling of interest manifested shows that the memory of our patriotic dead is still green in the hearts of our people." "The speaking was of average quality," in the view of one writer, "but would have been more effective if it has been somewhat shortened." As part of the ceremonies C. E. L. Holmes delivered a poem written by him for the occasion.
The line of march for the parade started off with the Ansonia Band followed by the Kellogg Post No. 26, G.A.R., with other ex-soldiers and sailors, fire companies, T.A.B. (Total Abstinence and Benevolent) societies, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. The Ansonia Glee Club sang "They died for you and me." "...a general display of the national colors and mourning was noticeable all along the route..., especially in Ansonia, where, in many cases, residences were beautifully decorated."
The Pine Grove Cemetery Association, organized in 1858, set apart the large circular plot for the monument at a meeting of the trustees held April 21, 1876.
The monument was re-dedicated May 30, 1961.
SOLDIERS MONUMENT, Ansonia, is significant artistically because it is an example of the figure-on-pedestal type of Civil War monument different from most in that the figure is an artilleryman rather than the usual infantryman. Its general design is similar to the CIVIL WAR MONUMENT in nearby Derby, also by M.J. Walsh. His technique of polishing a raised surface to receive incised lettering is used in both.
The New York foundry of Maurice J. Power was a leading firm in the field. Power cast an artillery figure sculpted by Casper Buberl for a Civil War monument designed by Hartford's George Keller in Manchester, New Hampshire, in l878. The New Hampshire artilleryman in his right hand grasps the rod of the loading ram now missing here but shown by the historic photograph in A History of Ansonia, Bicentennial-1976 , page 22.
In SOLDIERS MONUMENT, Ansonia, the bronze figure of an artilleryman stands on a granite base, facing north. The monument is located on a low rise in the southeastern corner of Pine Grove Cemetery in West Ansonia. The monument is a tribute to the memory of those who gave their lives. The 1883 Ansonia wall map identifies it as the SOLDIERS MONUMENT.
The artilleryman initially faced south toward the cemetery's main entrance, but was turned l80 degrees to face north when the entrance was changed. He stands with right foot forward, wearing a long loosely fitting coat, shirt with buttons open, and wide-brimmed soft hat. His right hand, held shoulder high, initially grasped the rod of an artillery ram now missing.
The monument is unusual for its small amount of carving and decoration. The only raised lettering is the four battle names on the faces of the base. Only one side of the dado bears a legend. This is the south surface, which initially faced the main entrance to the cemetery, subsequently moved. Most of the south face of the dado is treated as a raised shield, polished, to receive the incised lettering.
Battle names on base of pedestal, raised caps: MALVERN HILL, GETTYSBURG, ANTIETAM, MOBILE
Inscription on south face of die, in incised caps: ANSONIA'S TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF HER SONS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES TO THEIR COUNTRY IN THE REBELLION OF 1861.-1865.
(Ansonia) Evening Sentinel, January 14, 1949.
Derby Transcript, January 6, 1876; news story and editorial, June 1, 1876.
C. E. L. Holmes, Poem Delivered at Ansonia, May 30, 1876.
A History of Ansonia, Bicentennial-1976, p. 22.
David F. Ransom, George Keller, Architect (Hartford: The Stowe-Day Foundation, l978), p. 119.
Rules and Regulations of Pine Grove Cemetery Association, Ansonia, Conn., 1898. At Ansonia Public Library.
Unidentified newspaper stories, presumably June 1, 1876, and May 30, 1961. At Ansonia Public Library.
A 1909 chapel on the grounds of the cemetery was the philanthropy of Charles H. Pine, who also was donor of SOLDIER'S MONUMENT, East End Park, Winsted, Winchester. The gable-roofed chapel, built of buff brick with brownstone dressing, is sited on a hill. Windows have pointed arches in the Gothic Revival style, but a porte-cochere across the front is supported by an arcade of round arches. Several windows are glazed with stained glass. There is a small door at the basement level (grade) at the rear. A plaque on the front reads: IN MEMORY OF CHARLES HENRY PINE SOLDIER * STATESMAN * PHILANTHROPIST WHO PRESENTED THIS MEMORIAL CHAPEL TO THE PINE GROVE CEMETERY ASSOCIATION A.D. 1909