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|GRIFFIN A. STEDMAN MONUMENT
10 Campfield Avenue (next to)
Dedicated: October 4, 1900
Type: Bronze figure on tan granite pedestal
Sculptor: Frederick Moynihan
Foundry: Gorham Company
Designer and supplier of stone: Stephen Maslen Corporation
Height: Approximately 21'
GRIFFIN A. STEDMAN MONUMENT, Barry Square, Hartford, is significant historically because it summarizes much of the Hartford-related activity in the Civil War. It memorializes a highly regarded general, evokes the early scenes of enlistment and mustering in for seven regiments that Hartford sent to the war, and in its dedication ceremony brought together for the last time many of the men who participated in these events.
Griffin Alexander Stedman (1838-1864), gallant soldier and distinguished citizen, was 26 years old at the time of his death. Born in Hartford, he graduated from Trinity College in 1859. In 1861 he joined Connecticut's 14th Infantry Regiment, but almost immediately became a captain in the 5th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers. He participated in many battle actions, receiving promotions at intervals, until he was fatally wounded August 5, 1864, at Petersburg.
In describing the dedication ceremonies of October 4, 1900, The Hartford Daily Courant in a two-page spread said that it was "probably the last great gathering of the veterans of the war that will be seen here." The parade route from Bushnell Park was decked out in bunting on both homes and places of business. The Hartford Times also devoted two pages to covering the event, under the heading "Camp-Field Monument," because the regiments initially had camped at this location when mustered in. The "brilliant and impressive procession" included veterans of the 5th, 8th, 10th, 14th, 16th, 22nd, and 25th regiments. Among the speakers were the president of Trinity College and Governor George E. Lounsbury, whose address reviewed the glories of the accomplishments "of those who went out from this site." Refreshments were served from an open tent nearby on Webster Street by the Woman's Relief Corps.
Cost of the monument was borne at least in part by the State of Connecticut. $2,000 was appropriated by the General Assembly in 1899 for a monument to the 22nd and 25th C.V.s; $200 in 1900 to the Campfield Monument Association's memorial to the 22nd and 23rd Regiments.
GRIFFIN A. STEDMAN MONUMENT, Barry Square, is significant artistically because it is an excellent example of a Civil War monument with two-stage pedestal or dado and bronze figure. The two-stage dado appeared as early as 1868 in SOLDIER'S MONUMENT, Granby, and was used elsewhere from time to time. Since James G. Batterson, who was the largest supplier of Civil War monuments in Connecticut, was in the stone business, he tended to supply stone figures, a circumstance which helps explain why stone figures outnumber bronze in the state. But there are other bronze soldier figures; for example, WILCOX SOLDIERS' MONUMENT, Madison, and SOLDIER'S MONUMENT, Union Park, Middletown. GRIFFIN A. STEDMAN MONUMENT, Barry Square, is different in that it is a representation of a specific officer. Placement of the forward foot on a stone is seen at DEFENDERS OF THE FLAG, Plainville. The firm that cast the bronze figure, Gorham Company of Providence, Rhode Island, was a leading art foundry of the times.
The raised trophies on the upper dado stage are vigorously carved, almost in high relief rather than bas-relief. The raised saddle on the south is also found at GENL. GRIFFIN A. STEDMAN, Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford.
The Courant of October 5, 1900, reported that the firm of Stephen Maslen had been selected from among several submissions to fabricate and supply the monument. The Maslen record of the job, on page 212 of the 1897-1899 journal, includes a photograph of a model of the monument, perhaps the only such photograph of a Connecticut monument, with dimensions of the stone pieces listed on the back. The client is listed as the Campfield Monument Building Committee, consisting of the Honorable Thomas McManus (see THOMAS McMANUS PLAQUE, Hartford), Dr. John B. Lewis, and Julius S. Gilman. Specifications include details for one standard copper bronze statue likeness of General Stedman and three bronze tablets for the die, and call for the four sides of the upper die to be ornamented and carved in bas-relief. The fourth side was to be the Shield of Connecticut, but this was executed in bronze at the lower level.
Changes in dimensions and moldings from the model were noted. Provision was made for the possible use of statues instead of cannonballs on the corners of the plinth, at additional cost of $1,000 each, to be cavalryman, infantryman, artilleryman, and representative of the Ambulance Corps, in marble or granite. Price for the monument and statue as executed was $6,000. An additional entry on page 296 shows a sketch with dimensions of the steps of six risers "with Barre side pieces," which are still in place, at a cost of $400.
While the record kept by Stephen Maslen Corporation is wonderfully informative as far as it goes, it does not give specific information on the questions of whether the pedestal was cut in Maslen's Hartford shop and whether Maslen commissioned the work by the sculptor, and if so at what cost.
Frederick Moynihan (1843-1910), the sculptor, was born in England where he studied at the Royal Academy, London, before coming to the United States. In this country he made a specialty of sculpting military figures of the Civil War period.
GRIFFIN A. STEDMAN MONUMENT, Barry Square, is sited in the middle of a small park at the point where eight streets intersect in Hartford's South End to form Barry Square. The monument is on a mound, about 10 feet above street level, approached by granite steps. It consists of a two-stage granite pedestal and larger-than-life bronze figure, and is dedicated to seven Hartford regiments, the grounds on which they encamped, and General Stedman.
The rock-faced gray granite plinth of the memorial has a pyramid of granite cannonballs at each corner. The top surface of the plinth is smooth, pitched upward. The first 4 1/2" of the tan granite pedestal base is a vertical quarry-faced surface which is surmounted by a larger smooth pitched plane. Its corners are finished with triangular chamfers while crossed rifles in wreath, postwar symbol of the infantry, are raised on the front. The four sides of the dado above are covered with bronze plaques with bead-and-reel borders, as recorded below. The corners of the dado are embellished by cannon set between top and bottom stops on broad chamfered surfaces, a design device used at SOLDIERS' MONUMENT, Plymouth Green, Plymouth, while the war was still in progress.
Three moldings of torus, cyma reversa, and torus provide transition to the upper stage of the die where raised crossed sabres and bugle, symbol of the cavalry, occupy a recessed panel. The corners of the panel are convex. There is a recessed star in each corner of the border around the panel. On the north face is a raised trophy of crossed small rifles, haversack, and canteen with strap and kit bearing the letters US. The east face is blank. The south face displays a raised saddle. The cornice of the upper stage of the dado is supported by a cyma reversa molding embellished by raised egg-and-dart motif.
Above, the figure of General Stedman stands with his left foot forward, resting on a stone. His boots come up to the knees where they meet the frock coat of the uniform, which is worn with an officer's sword belt and tasseled sash, but no sword or scabbard. He holds field glasses in his right hand, while his left arm and hand are down, free from the body. The binocular case is at right hip, suspended from a strap slung over his left shoulder. Gauntlets are in the left hand, bars of rank on the shoulders. The coat has two rows of buttons, denoting staff/general officer rank, rising to the buttoned collar. He wears a luxuriant moustache and soft hat with wide brim.
Left side of statue base, incised caps:FRED. MOYNIHAN. SC / NY 1900
Front (west) face of lower stage of dado, bronze plaque 33 1/2" x 27 1/2", raised caps:GRIFFIN A. STEDMAN.
TYPICAL VOLUNTEER SOLDIER
OF THE CIVIL WAR,
BORN AT HARTFORD, CONN., JANUARY 6, 1838.
KILLED AT PETERSBURG, VA., AUGUST 5, 1864
REGIMENTS ENCAMPED ON THIS FIELD
5TH CONN. VOLS, ORRIS S. BERRY, COLONEL
8TH " " EDWARD HARLAND, "
10TH " " CHARLES L. RUSSELL, "
14TH " " DWIGHT MORRIS, "
16TH " " FRANK BEACH, "
22ND " " GEORGE S. BURNHAM, "
25TH " " GEORGE E. BISSELL, "
East:(Seal of Connecticut)
MARKS THE FIELD EXTENDING
FROM THIS POINT SIXTY RODS EAST
AND ONE-HUNDRED RODS SOUTH
ON WHICH SEVEN REGIMENTS
OF CONNECTICUT VOLUNTEERS
ENCAMPED AND WERE MUSTERED
INTO THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED
STATES DURING THE CIVIL WAR.
1861 - 1865
ERECTED BY THE VETERAN
SURVIVORS OF THE WAR.
Baruch, p. 11.
Charles Burpee, History of Hartford County, Connecticut, 1633-1928, v. 1 (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1928).
The Hartford Daily Courant, October 5, 1900, pp. 1, 8.
The Hartford Times, October 4, 1900, p. 1 ff, ils. and February 20, 1960, p. 20.
Stephen Maslen Corporation journal, 1897-1899 , pp. 212 and 296. Beij, Williams & Zito, Hartford.
Glenn P. Opitz, ed., Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers (Poughkeepsie, NY: Apollo Books, 1986), p. 647.
Public Art Survey, City of Hartford Fine Arts Commission, 1974.
"Gen. Griffin Alexander Stedman," 2 1/2-page biographical sketch photocopied from unidentified book. In author's possession.