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 1896, veterans of Company K of the 135th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry constructed a monument in the Ridgelawn Cemetery in Elyria, Ohio. The memorial commemorated five members of Company K who died during the Civil War. Consisting of a granite base that is twelve feet high and a sheet copper statue in the form of a skirmishing Union soldier that is six feet tall, the monument was designed and constructed by the W.H. Mullins Company of Salem, Ohio. This business featured the monument in its company catalog, The Blue and the Gray: Statues in Stamped Copper and Bronze(page 25) in 1913.
The memorial contains the following inscription: "Erected by the surviving comrades of Company K 135th OVI to the Memory of Oscar N. Bush Died Aug 3 1864 Baltimore MD Aged 17 Years Charles Eason Killed July 6th 1864 Maryland Heights MD Aged 17 Years Ernest Morehouse Died July 2 1864 Martinsburg W. Va Aged 18 Years Edgar A. Phillips Killed July 6th 1864 Maryland Heights MD Aged 17 Years James B. Warden Died May 19th 1864 Martinsburg W VA Aged 17 Years."
In 1999, the statue was painted in the standard colors of a Union uniform, but the monument remains in good overall condition.
The monument is located in Ridgelawn Cemetery (285 Columbus Street) in Elyria.