- By Lisa Powell and Brandon Ellis Staff Writers
The Soldiers, Sailors and Pioneers Monument in downtown Hamilton needs work, and bids have come in ranging from $156,000 to $816,000.
The region has a number of such Civil War and military monuments, according to a database maintained by the Cincinnati Museum Center. Nearly three dozen, from as early as 1870, stand in a mix of public and not-as-public places to honor those who served.
Here are seven that are worth the drive to see up close:
A Civil War soldier stands on top of the Soldiers’ Sailors and Pioneers monument in Hamilton. The statue, entitled “Victory, the Jewel of the Soul,” is also known as “Billy Yank.” It is made of bronze, stands 17 feet tall and weighs 3,500 pounds.
Below the soldier, the monument houses a collection of Civil War weapons and swords, an exhibit on 20th Century American Wars and the records of Butler County residents who have served in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War and Gulf War.
Montgomery County dedicated a memorial to Civil War Union veterans on July 31, 1884 in the center of Main and Monument Streets. The model for the monument was Pvt. George Washington Fair of Dayton.
The monument was moved to Sunrise Park on Riverview Avenue in 1948 and returned to Main Street in 1991. The marble statue was damaged by the elements and replaced in bronze form. The original statue of Private Fair is now located under a portico at the VA Hospital.
This soldier on top of the monument made of Vermont granite sits on a marble base and was dedicated Oct. 31, 1895.
The names of 12 soldiers who died during the war are inscribed on the base along with these words, “Dedicated by the grateful people of Newton Township, in memory of her fallen heroes who died in defense of the Union and who sleep in unknown graves.”
A soldier holds a gun on top of a large stone base at Middletown’s Woodside Cemetery. An inscription on the monument, “In memory of our soldiers and sailors by the people of Butler Co."
According to the Woodside Cemetery and Arboretum website “Local farmers were asked to haul their finest boulders to the site and when sufficient funds were raised, the 100 ft. Soldiers and Sailors Memorial was commissioned by the famous and noted architect, Frank Mills Andrews and completed in 1902 with the addition of a bronze statue that was donated by Paul J. Sorg.”
In 2015, three Civil War cannons were rededicated after being restored with new granite bases.
The Civil War memorial at Ferncliff Cemetery was sculpted by artist Henry Lovie. Lovie was born in Prussia, immigrated to the United States and became a portrait and landscape painter in Cincinnati.
The memorial was originally erected at the corner of Limestone Street and Columbia Avenue in 1869.
The Union soldier’s position differs from parade rest. The muzzle faces down with the soldiers hands resting on the butt of the gun. In parade rest, the muzzle faces up.
The Dayton National Cemetery was established as the permanent burial site for residents of the Central Branch of the National Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in 1867, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
A soldier at parade rest sits on top of a 30-foot marble column on a granite base. Four figures representing the Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Navy are placed at the corners of the base.
President Rutherford B. Hayes delivered the dedication address on Sept. 12, 1877, to a crowd of about 22,000. Two ornamental artillery cannons are located at the base of Soldiers’ Monument.
Martin Delany, buried at Massies Creek Cemetery near Wilberforce, was the only African-American to attain the rank of Major in the Civil War.
Delany served as a recruiter for the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. He was commissioned a major in the U.S. Army in March 1865, and given command of 104th United States Colored Troops.
A new monument to Delany has been erected near the Civil War-era tombstone that misspelled his last name.
Military monuments in the region
Source: Cincinnati Museum Center