Connecticut's Civil War Monuments


Introduction || Connecticut's Monuments: an essay || Study Methodology || Monument Listing
CHS Home || Other CHS Resources


view large image


Alderbrook Cemetery
Boston Street
Guilford, CT

Dedicated: May 30, 1902
Type: Rodman gun
Height: 7'

Historical Significance

GUILFORD GUN, Guilford, is significant historically because it is a relic of the Civil War used as a memorial to those who fought in the conflict. Approval to place the cannon in the cemetery, which was opened in 1818, was given to the Parmelee Post Grand Army of the Republic by the Alderbrook Cemetery Association at its annual meeting held on September 28, 1901.

Availability of the Rodman gun from the federal government was the result of a year's campaigning by Captain Charles Griswold. The prior history of the piece is unknown, but it appears to be standard Civil War ordnance. Suitable dedication ceremonies held May 30, 1902, included acceptance on behalf of the Parmelee Post with full G.A.R. ceremony. Records of the Parmelee Post are at the Henry Whitfield Museum, Guilford.

Charles Griswold of Guilford enlisted on August 5, 1862, and was mustered in as a sergeant in Company E, 15th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry. On February 8, 1864, he was promoted to captain of Company B 29th (Colored) Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered out on October 24, 1864.


GUILFORD GUN is located just inside the eastern entrance to Alderbrook Cemetery, close to the five-foot granite ashlar wall that divides the cemetery from the highway. The cannon on its carriage is mounted on a granite block, with muzzle facing southeast. The plat is marked at its southern corners by 40" triangular stones about 30 feet apart. The 20.5-acre cemetery is flat, with little planting. The monument is dedicated to all community men who served in the Civil War.

The 7'-long gray granite block is quarry-finished except on the southwest face, which has tooled borders. The letters G - A - R are raised in its center. The granite is blackened with many stains, perhaps from the black-painted iron above. The triangular gun carriage and the gun were repainted ca.1991 by a volunteer who simply put a new coat of paint over the existing partially rusted surface.

The plaque on the side of the carriage is brass, although it is painted black and looks like iron. There are brownish stains under the plaque. The top surfaces of the triangular stones at the southern corners of the plat have rows of shallow circular depressions, which indicate the former locations of cannonballs, stacked in pyramids. The cannonballs are reported to be in storage in a shed on the cemetery grounds.


Southwest face of base, raised caps:

G - A - R

    Southwest face of carriage, 34" x 17" bronze plaque, raised caps:

1861 - 1865

Hub of carriage, incised caps:


Muzzle of gun, somewhat illegible, approximately:

E6 W P F 1865 9779


Notation at Griswold Free Library, History Room, under "Cannon in Alderbrook Cemetery," recording entry in Griswold Scrapbook, v. 2, p. 42, and Steiner green scrapbook, p. 173, which in turn record articles in Shore Line Times of June 5, 1902, and April 13, 1916.