Ohio’s American Civil War soldiers and civilians sought to commemorate the troopers’ devotion to and service with the United States by constructing monuments and other memorials.
During the American Civil War, Ohio provided the federal government with 260 regiments of men, including infantry, artillery, and cavalry units. Ohioans also served in several other regiments from other states, most notably from Kentucky, West Virginia, and Massachusetts, as well as in federal units. Almost 330,000 Ohio men, including 5,092 African Americans, served in the Union military during the conflict.
Ohio’s soldiers and civilians sought to commemorate the troopers’ devotion to and service with the United States by constructing monuments and other memorials. Ohioans completed the first of these commemorations during the Civil War, with hundreds more being built after the conflict. Ohioans have built at least 295 monuments to commemorate Civil War veterans, civilians, political leaders, and war-related events in the state. Eighty-six of the state’s eighty-eight counties contain Civil War monuments, with Hamilton County, Lucas County, Lorain County, Brown County, and Franklin County each boasting ten or more memorials each. Only Clinton County and Noble County do not contain Civil War monuments.
In 1921, A Grand Army of the Republic Post in Allen County, Ohio solicited donations to construct a monument to honor local veterans of the Civil War and of World War I. The J.C. Birkmeier & Co. of Delphos, Ohio designed the memorial. The monument stands twenty-five feet tall and is topped by a four-foot tall eagle with raised wings. The monument's base consists of granite, while the eagle was made from copper. The front of the monument contains the following inscription: "1921 [the year of construction] 1917-1918 [the years of United States involvement in World War I] Dedicated to our country's defenders. Erected by our patriotic people." The emblem of the Grand Army of the Republic is also engraved on the memorial's front. On the monument's east side is inscribed: "1861-65 [the years of the Civil War] Korean 1950-55 J. C. Birkmeier & Co. Delphos OH" The west side inscription reads: "1898-1902 [the years of the Spanish-American war and the Philippine Insurrection] Vietnam 1964-75." The back of the memorial is inscribed with: "WW II 1941-45."
The years of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War were inscribed after the monument's original construction. The memorial remains in very good overall condition thanks to constant upkeep and care.
The monument is located in the Spencerville Township Cemetery on State Route 66.