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 1903, residents of Jackson Township decided to erect a monument to honor the community’s Civil War soldiers. Constructed of sandstone, the monument is sixteen feet high, including the six-foot tall soldier standing at parade rest on the memorial’s top. The front of the monument has inscribed upon it a verse from William Cullen Bryant’s poem “The Battle-field.” It reads:
Ah! never shall the land forget.
How flowed the life blood of her brave
Gushed warm with hope and courage yet.
Upon the soil they fought to save.
The back of the monument contains the following inscription: “Dedicated to the Memory of her soldiers of 1861-1865.”
The monument was formally dedicated on July 4, 1903. Since the memorial’s construction, it has served as the center of Jackson Township’s Memorial Day commemorations. In 2003, caretakers refurbished the monument and added a memorial garden.
The monument is located between 200 and 266 North High Street in Lafayette, Ohio.