| Enfield |
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| ||SOLDIERS MONUMENT |
19 North Main Street
Type: Tall granite pedestal with bronze plaques, trophies, and figure
Sculptor: D. Richards
Foundry: M.J. Power
Height: Approximately 18'
SOLDIERS MONUMENT, Enfield, is significant historically because it is a symbol of the honor and respect paid by the citizens of Enfield to those from the community who served in the Civil War. A town meeting held June 1, 1885, authorized expenditure of $3,750 for the monument and specified that its place of erection should be the intersection of Church and North Main Streets. A plaque on the monument confirms that it was erected in 1885, but the date next to the sculptor's signature is 1881. Explanation of the discrepancy between the 1881 and 1885 dates has not come to hand.
In its original location, which was near the church, town hall, and high school, the monument was a prominent component in the community's central institutional cluster. Only the monument remains, now about 50 feet northeast of its original location.
SOLDIERS MONUMENT, Enfield, is significant artistically because it is an example of design composed of high granite pedestal with bronze figure. The overall stone mass of the pedestal is in the same basic design as that of CIVIL WAR MONUMENT, Derby. In addition, the Derby monument incorporates a bronze figure cast by the same foundry, M.J. Power of New York City, as cast the Enfield figure. Both have the distinctive horizontal fasces at the bottom of the base supporting the figure. No documentary evidence linking the two has been found.
Identity of the supplier/stonecutter is not known. The rounded shape of the top of the pedestal and its incised lines recall SOLDIERS' MONUMENT, Stonington, and ROBERT A. GRAY MONUMENT, Groton, both supplied by James G. Batterson using granite from his Westerly, Rhode Island, quarry. The Enfield granite appears to be a lighter color, however, perhaps from Barre, Vermont, and Batterson is not known to have ever worked with M.J. Power of New York City. Little is known of sculptor D. Richards.
SOLDIERS MONUMENT, Enfield, is sited facing south in a small park in front of an office building. It is on a raised mound, as it was before it was moved 20'/50' when Church Street, which originally ran behind the monument, was rerouted. Possibly, the arrangement before the move provided a more prominent location for the monument. All men from Enfield who served in the Civil War are memorialized here, as well as those who died in World War I and World War II.
The monument consists of a granite pedestal and bronze figure. Raised gabled areas project from the base of the pedestal, each filled with a bronze eagle which, on the front, has an anchor, for the navy, superimposed on a central shield. The shaft above is divided into two sections by horizontal incised lines. In the lower section, on the front (south), the space is partially filled by a plaque (see Lettering below) under horizontal bronze laurel with round central shield. On the east the eagle is embellished with crossed swords, for the cavalry, while the plaque above fills the entire space. On the north the eagle carries a horn, for the infantry, and on the west crossed cannon, for the artillery. The plaque on the north was added in 1922 to commemorate those who died in World War I; that on the west was presumably added to honor World War II deaths (see Lettering below).
The bronze base for the figure has as its first stage horizontal fasces. The infantryman's left foot is forward, with butt of rifle held parallel with it. His left hand grasps the rifle barrel, while his right hand is on his right hip. The soldier wears an overcoat with cape, moustache, and visored cap. The overall pose is a casual non-drill-manual position.
The mound on which the monument stands has a diameter of 30'. It is surrounded by a two-foot-high stone retaining wall, the top course of which is made up of segmental granite pieces. There are periodic holes in the granite. A historic photograph (Bridge, page 231) shows the monument in its original location with a high iron picket fence rising from the retaining wall. The indication is that the present top course of the wall was moved from the original location, but not the fence. A flagpole is sited west of the monument, half-way between the monument and the retaining wall.
Base of figure, left side, incised caps:D. RICHARDS (PICHARDS?) Sc / 1881
Right side, incised caps:M.J. POWER / BRONZE FOUNDRY, N.Y.
Bronze plaque on front (south) face of dado, raised caps:IN MEMORY OF THE MEN OF ENFIELD
ON LAND AND SEA
PERILED THEIR LIVES
FOR UNION/AND LIBERTY, 1861-1865
ERECTED BY THE
TOWN OF ENFIELD
East face:ROLL OF HONOR
KILLED IN BATTLE
(2 columns of 5 names each)
DIED FROM WOUNDS
(2 columns of 7 names each)
DIED IN SERVICE
AT ANDERSONVILLE PRISON, Ga.
(2 columns 7 names each plus 1 centered at bottom)
North face:IN MEMORY OF THOSE
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES
IN THE GREAT WAR
FOR WORLD-WIDE LIBERTY
KILLED IN ACTION
(list of 8 names)
DIED IN SERVICE
(5 men, 1 woman Red Cross nurse)
ERECTED BY THE TOWN OF ENFIELD 1922
West face:ROLL OF HONOR.
DIED IN SERVICE
(2 columns of 14 names each plus 1 centered at bottom)
Baruch, p. 9.
Chester E. Brainard, Jr., Enfield Municipal Historian, conversation, October 23, 1993.
Ruth Bridge, ed., The Challenge of Change (Canaan, New Hampshire: Phoenix Publishing for Enfield Historical Society, 1977), p. 231.
Stephen Coffee, Enfield researcher, conversation, July, 1994.