Virtually every New England town has their version of a Civil War monument, but few are as dramatic as this one in Claremont, New Hampshire. In contrast to the standard stoic and heroic mustachioed man seen elsewhere, the youthful face and battle weary pose give it a distinct personality. It’s great because it’s realistic, not idealistic.
Turns out Martin Milmore, the 25 year old Irish immigrant who created it in 1869, thought so too. The figure appeared at least twice more, at Union monuments in Boston. There’s one at Forest Hills cemetery in Roxbury. And Milmore went on to include the figure in his Soldiers and Sailors monument in Boston Common, in 1877.
That figure is now missing, presumably removed to save it from the chronic vandalism the monument faces.
Now for some stereoscopic gold…
Here’s what the monument in Boston Commons used to look like. The soldier can be seen on the lower left.
Here’s our man again, getting ready for his big trip to the foundry. Check out the maquette in the background.
And, by the way, how cool is this?