Soldiers and Sailors Monument: Thursday Doors

just a
common soldier,
a young farmer dressed in
blue—more likely to discover
his death
through illness than in the heat of
battle—but death is death,
and war knows no

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument, in Riverside Park, is a memorial to the Union soldiers and sailors who fought in the Civil War. Designed by brothers Charles and Arthur Stoughton, with sculptures by Paul E M DuBoy, it was dedicated in 1902.

It has been in bad need of repair for many years. Despite several attempts by local officials to allocate money in the city budget, the monument remains fenced off, “awaiting funding”.

Nearly 100 feet high, it was patterned after the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens. Surrounding smaller monuments contain lists of New York volunteer regiments that served in the war, as well as the names of Union generals and battles.

I took these photos on two separate occasions, one a mid-morning last summer, and one on a recent early morning. The light was strange and kept changing on the recent day, at least as it appeared in the photos. It didn’t seem so at the time.

There are also three cannons on the walk way leading up to the monument.

While doing research on the Civil War troops, I discovered that most were farmers in their 20s, and that the Union soldiers were much more likely to die of disease than battle, as the camps were overcrowded and unsanitary. The reverse was true for those who served in the Rebel army–most of them died while fighting.

My poem was written for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday–the prompt was to use the butterfly cinquain form, and include a color in the text. But it was also written in remembrance, on this Veteran’s Day, for all those who have served their countries in the hopes of defending the dream of a free and just world for all.

As always, you can join in Thursday doors here.

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About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel methodtwomadness is a blog of two friends, Nina and Kerfe kblog is Kerfe's solo branch on the tree

33 responses to “Soldiers and Sailors Monument: Thursday Doors”

  1. Dan Antion says :

    I hope they can find the funding to repair and maintain this into the future.Not only is it a beautiful monument, it’s important to remember the brave people who served in that war, and those who have served to protect the peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks Dan. I don’t understand why some business or private donor doesn’t step up to help out with the restoration. It’s a shame to let such a beautiful structure deteriorate, particularly given its place in our history.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. WildChild47 says :

    A fascinating exploration of the monument and its significance and I really like your poem – it’s startling for its truth – which makes it very effective. Great point of inspiration and compliment to the poem and what I like very much, that just the poem alone, works too – with reference to any specific war/era etc. – there’s a universality to it – which makes it perfect for Remembrance Day. Well done 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Colleen M. Chesebro says :

    Kerfe, this is a stunning photos, poetry, and history lesson about the Civil War. I’m so happy you commemorated Veteran’s Day. Thank you and to all who served to defend and honor our country. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. D. Avery @shiftnshake says :

    Perfect, poignant, powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. merrildsmith says :

    Thank you for sharing the monument, along with your poem and photos. And of course, people die of all sorts of things during wars, especially before antibiotics.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. sustainabilitea says :

    I hope they can find the funds to take care of the monument. It’s so important to remember that freedom isn’t really free and to remember those willing to keep us free. When I visit my s-i-l in France, there are so many small memorials everywhere and almost every little town has a list of those who died in both world wars. So sad but so important. It saddens me that we don’t take better care of our veterans. How can war not scar those who take part in it?


    Liked by 1 person

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks Janet, you are right on all counts. It has definitely scarred the veterans I know. My father’s generation generally kept it to themselves, but it was always there.


  7. Elizabeth says :

    Beautiful photos and poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. robertawrites235681907 says :

    I think that civil wars are the saddest of all wars, Kerfe. My knowledge of the American Civil War is from fictional books I’ve read like The Red Badge of Courage and Gone with the Wind.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. judeitakali says :

    Ahh that cinquain was so poignant. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  10. boundlessblessingsblog says :

    Thanks, Marta on this historical monument. Never knew that poor farmers died because of such bad conditions during those times.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. dweezer19 says :

    War is a voracious hunter of souls. This park is beautiful and carries the feeling I get when thinking of war. That monument is incredible. Perhaps the powers that be are quiblling over details, like cost and rules. Sad isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. D. Wallace Peach says :

    A beautiful, poignant, and sad poem, Kerfe. And a bit of history that I didn’t know. I hope the memorial finds some funs for restoration. It would be a shame if it descended into ruin.

    Liked by 1 person

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