Wisconsin's Civil War Memorials
Wood National Cemetery, Milwaukee

Wood Cemetery Soldiers and Sailors monument In 1903, a 60-foot soldiers and sailors monument was erected at the north end of Wood National Cemetery in Milwaukee. It weighed 85 tons and 14 cannon balls were placed in each corner pyramid. The cannon is one of four 24-pounder flank howitzers, 1844 model. the Joseph Shaver Granite & Marble Company of Milwaukee sculpted the monument. 5000 W. National Avenue.

Despite one of the coldest and bleakest Memorial Days in years, the following dedication took place, May 30, 1903:

"Memorial Day services at the Soldiers Home were most impressive and included the dedication of a handsome granite monument, erected by the various GAR posts of the city in memory of their dead comrades. 1500 uniformed, gray haired veterans, with a bearing as erect and proud as that with which they marched forth to meet the enemy forty years ago, formed in line before the Administration building at 10 o'clock and proceeded to the home cemetery, where everything had been prepared for the unveiling of the memorial shaft. About 2,000 civilians were present to witness the ceremonies.

Wood Cemetery monument engraving

"Hundreds of graves around the spot had been bedecked with flowers during the early morning, making a beautiful sight. The speaker of the day was Former Senator John L. Mitchell, and after a prayer by Chaplain E.P. Wright and a selection by the band, he was introduced by Gov. Cornelius Wheeler. Mr. Mitchell's address was a glowing eulogy of the men who had fallen, while fighting for their country in the days of 1861 to 1865, and of the significance and moral value of such a monument as was now unveiled.

'The monument, which we dedicate today, built by your loving hands in memory of our heroic comrades, who slumber here, teaches us a lesson in patriotism,' said the speaker. 'It stands for the noblest struggle that history records. This unpretentious pillar, in moral grandeur, overtops the pyramid of a Pharaoh or the mausoleum of a Caesar. It stands for self-devotion, for Christianity put in practice, such as the world has never seen before.'"

Dedication description from Milwaukee Sentinel, May 31, 1903

Click to see a sunset view of this monument
(photo by SUVCW Commander-in-Chief Kent Armstrong, 30 Nov. 2003)

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Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Department of Wisconsin


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