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 1914, officials of Jefferson, Ohio decided to erect a monument to honor the community’s Civil War soldiers. Dedicated on May 30, 1914, the memorial cost seven hundred dollars and was designed by the F.E. Smith Co. The monument is made entirely of bronze and originally stood in the middle of a fountain. The memorial “stood on a high base surrounded by a pool containing gold fish. Jets of water played around the statue and were illuminated at night by colored lights.” The monument was subsequently placed in the middle of a pool with bubbling water. It now stands twelve feet tall, including the six-foot tall statue of a soldier at parade rest.
The monument remains in good condition and is cared for by the Ashtabula County commissioners. It is located on the lawn of the former Ashtabula County courthouse in Jefferson, at 25 West Jefferson Street.