Connecticut's Civil War Monuments


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291 Berlin Street
East Berlin
Berlin, CT

Erected: 1871
Type: Brownstone obelisk on pedestal
Height: approximately 20'

Historical Significance

SOLDIERS MONUMENT, East Berlin, is significant historically because it was erected by the Washburn Post of the Grand Army of the Republic. While the G.A.R. post in a community often was instrumental in arranging for a Civil War monument, the local post did not usually put up the memorial by itself, as was the case here.

For another G.A.R. monument, nearby, see MANSFIELD POST CIVIL WAR MONUMENT, Indian Hill Cemetery, Middletown.

Artistic Significance

In the absence of a figure or other sculpture, SOLDIERS MONUMENT, East Berlin, is a standard low-budget memorial. It closely resembles the SOLDIERS MONUMENT, Kensington, erected in the Town of Berlin eight years earlier, even to the raised seal of Connecticut on the front of the shaft. However, since the design appears often, it is not necessarily a direct copy. East Berlin is different from Kensington because it has battle names on the faces of the shaft; in this regard it is Kensington, without battle names, which is unusual.

Also, East Berlin is distinctive because of the funereal drapery at its peak. This motif is found in many cemetery monuments. Since fabricators of Civil War monuments often had cemetery monuments as their principal products, its presence is not unexpected. It may perhaps be wondered why this standard cemetery motif does not appear more frequently on Civil War monuments.


SOLDIERS MONUMENT, East Berlin, is sited in the middle of the intersection where Main Street dead ends into Berlin Street. The location is across Berlin Street from a well-kept cemetery, in a residential neighborhood.

The monument is an obelisk mounted on a pedestal, without figure. The only sculpture is the raised seal of Connecticut, about mid-way in the south front of the shaft. The base consists of three tall risers. Three moldings, a torus between two ogee profiles, form the transition from base to pedestal. Bolder projecting moldings of torus, ogee, fillet, and ogee form the cornice of the pedestal, which supports the shaft. The battle names on the shaft are framed by flat raised bands. Thin raised funereal drapery adorns the corners and centers of the top edges of the shaft, under a low pyramidal cap.

Modern steel rods joined by chain form a makeshift fence around the monument. The brownstone is defaced by blotchy black discoloration, yellow biological growth, spalling, and gouged and chipped corners.


On front (south) face, second riser of base, raised caps:


    Dado of pedestal, incised caps:

(14 names)

    Base of shaft, raised caps:

Post. G.A.R.

    Shaft, raised caps:

ANTIETAM/GETTYSBURG/(raised seal of Connecticut)

East face of dado:

(nine names)




(14 names, some followed by letter and number, e.g., A.25, G.l6, B.22)



West, third riser of base:

(one name)


(15 names)