Civil War MONUMENTS
On battlefields, town squares, and in cemeteries across the country, monuments are perhaps the most visible and enduring form of Civil War commemoration. They mark the historic ground where soldiers advanced and where they fell, where victories were celebrated and defeats mourned. Even more interesting than the history they commemorate, however, is what these monuments tell us about the individuals, organizations, and communities that erected them.
Whether raised within the borders of their own communities or on distant battlefields, Civil War monuments represent a profound connection to and pride in the past that is intended to endure. Monuments were meant to ensure not only that future generations would not forget their community’s contributions to the national narrative, but also to remind outsiders of their participation in this momentous historical event. The continual construction of monuments over time also speaks to Americans’ ongoing fascination with the Civil War and the ways in which Americans have told and revised their Civil War history.
As we undertake the massive task of locating and cataloging Civil War monuments, we are organizing our work by state. Eventually, we hope to present these monuments collectively, organized by the date of their dedication, in order to provide a sense of the scale and fluidity of this movement. In the meantime, we would be happy to hear about any Civil War monuments you may be familiar with.
District of Columbia